Visit to the Statue of Liberty: A Rare Experience

by Elpidio R. Estioko

People all over the world have been wanting to visit an important landmark that symbolizes freedom and hope: the Statue of Liberty in New York.

In fact, even when I was still in the Philippines, I already wanted to visit the statue after hearing its greatness and a lot of praises as the symbol of the United States.

So when my family immigrated to the U.S. in 1997, I thought I would be able to visit and see the Statue soon to appreciate its significance and symbolism.

But 24 years past, I haven’t been to New York and had no chance of seeing and visiting the Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island and adjoining Ellis Island.

However, at the end of the year 2023, a perfect seven-day holiday vacation for the family was organized and funded by my children to visit New York, New Jersey, and Atlantic City.

From Dec. 25-31, we rented two vehicles with a total passengers of 12 which are my wife Deli and me, five of my six children, two son-in-laws, and three grandchildren.

We drove to New York from South Carolina, home of my daughter Tweety, her husband Jonathan and their three-year-old daughter Ellie.

We checked into our hotel in New Jersey, just in time for the weekend escapade to New York, Atlantic City and New Jersey.

From there, we appreciated and witnessed in person the singular symbol of hope and spirit: the Statue of Liberty.

We were part of millions of visitors from all over the globe, who lined up for the cruise every day. Security checks were done just like the immigration procedures when one is boarding a plane.

I learned that the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation honors the American experience through its preservation and support of these two great monuments and restoring the Statue to creating a world-class museum and much more.

My Hawaii-born granddaughter Ellie enjoyed seeing the statue standing at 305 feet (93 meters) high including its pedestal. Her mom Tweety explained to her what the woman holding a torch in her raised right hand and a tablet bearing the adoption date of the Declaration of Independence (July 4, 1776) in her left represents.

My wife Delia said “Awesome” seeing the torch which measures 29 feet (8.8 meters) from the frame tip to the bottom. My son Paul from Hawaii explained the statue commemorated the friendship of the peoples of the United States and France.

The Statue of Liberty was a gift from France to the United States and is one of the most universal symbols of democracy.

With our visit to New York, New Jersey and Atlantic City, I had a taste of history which I have been longing for!

Thank you, my children! Happy Holidays!

ELPIDIO R. ESTIOKO was a veteran journalist in the Philippines and an award-winning journalist here in the US. He just published his book Unlocking the chain of Poverty: In Pursuit of the American Dream which is now available with Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Xlibris Publishing. For feedbacks, comments… please email author at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.