Good news Statue of Liberty fans! The park service announced yesterday that the iconic statue, which has been closed to visitors since Hurricane Sandy struck last fall, will reopen in time for the Fourth of July holiday this summer.

The statue was not damaged in the storm, but several of the park service structures on the Liberty Island, where the statue stands, were destroyed, including the dock for ferries carrying visitors from Lower Manhattan and Liberty State Park in Jersey City.

Soon-to-retire Interior Secretary Ken Salazar had this to say about the reopening.

“Hurricane Sandy inflicted major damage on facilities that support the Statue of Liberty – destroying the docks, crippling the energy infrastructure on Ellis Island and wiping out the security screening system – but we are fully committed to reopening this crown jewel as soon as it's safe for visitors and not a second later,” Salazar said. “Based on the tremendous progress we have made, Lady Liberty will be open to the public in time for the July 4th celebration."

Salazar announced the reopening plan along with New York Sen. Charles E. Schumer, three weeks after he toured Liberty Island in New York Harbor

"July Fourth is the perfect day to reopen a symbol of our nation's freedom, and speaks volumes about New York's resilience," said Schumer.  "Lady Liberty was hit hard by Superstorm Sandy, but just like New York, she will be back – and stronger than ever."

Want to learn more about the Statue of Liberty? Here's a cool video from the History Channel about the statue and how it became the international symbol of freedom and democracy.

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