Liberty Enlightening the World
President Grover Cleveland spoke at the dedication ceremony in New York:
“This sign of affection and consideration from the people of France shows a kindred spirit among republics, and assures us that in our efforts to recommend to men the excellence of a government founded upon the will of the people, we have a staunch ally across the Atlantic….We are not here today to bow our heads before the image of a fearsome and warlike god filled with rage and vengeance, but to joyfully contemplate our own deity guarding and watching over the gateways to America – a greater goddess than any revered in ancient anthems; a goddess who, instead of seizing the lightning bolts of terror and death, lifts to the skies the torch that lights the way to man’s freedom.”
Cited in José Marti and Elinor D. Randall, “Dedication of the Statue of Liberty,” The Massachusetts Review, vol. 27, no. 3-4 (Fall-Winter 1986): 439.