Nightly News   |  July 04, 2013

Lady Liberty reopens on Independence Day

Visitors pour off the ferry Thursday to greet the nation’s gatekeeper. NBC’s Katy Tur reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> finally tonight, a new beginning for one of the country's enduring symbols of independence. the statue of liberty reopened after being closed after hurricane sandy eight months ago. the statue was spared, but the rest of the island took a beating. katy tur has our report.

>> reporter: with a gentle thud, eight long lonely months were over. visitors poured off the ferry, eager to greet our nation's gate keeper , wearing their red, white and blue best. is that an official hat ?

>> this is my official hat .

>> reporter: great to be here on july 4th .

>> the night after her birthday when sandy blew in. flooding her docks and ripping up pavement. le lady liberty left almost unscathed. look at her, 126 years old, and she hasn't aged a day. you know, she's 126 years old.

>> she is?

>> reporter: yeah.

>> looks great.

>> reporter: standing tall, proud, and green, today, sandy all but a distance memory.

>> super exciting to be able to visit such an historic place .

>> reporter: lady liberty , once again ready to rush in the tired, poor, huddled masses earning to breathe free. this man came to america in the 1960s , his son brought him here today.

>> is he is a classic. one of the people that came here, made his way. went rags s to riches three times. it's a symbol of america. oh say can you see

>> reporter: closed for renovations, then sandy. this morning's opening ceremony felt a little like deja vu .

>> i don't know about you, but i'm getting sick and tired of opening and closing the statue of liberty . think this time we'll just leave it open. god bless america

>> reporter: open for all to see her not just as a mark of our freedom, but our resilience. katy tur, liberty island .