Liberty Island Reopens to Welcome Huddled Masses on Independence Day

The Statue of Liberty reopened this Fourth of July, months after Hurricane Sandy damaged the island's infrastructure last fall. Crowds ferried to Liberty Island to attend the ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday morning.

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The Statue of Liberty reopened this Fourth of July, months after Hurricane Sandy damaged the island's infrastructure last fall. Crowds ferried to Liberty Island to attend the ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday morning.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, speaking at the ceremony, said, "[We've] also taken steps to protect this island from major coastal storms in the future, just as we're doing with the rest of our city."

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell held back tears as she explained she was wearing a purple ribbon to commemorate the 19 firefighters who died in Arizona Sunday.

"We, as a nation, stand together in support of them," she said.

Speaking from the South Lawn at the White House's Fourth of July celebration, President Barack Obama said America "stands as the greatest nation on earth."

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In Virginia, the historic George Washington estate Mount Vernon hosted a daytime fireworks show over the Potomac River.

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