Menendez: Entire Statue Of Liberty Should Be Open To The Public

Menendez: Entire Statue Of Liberty Should Be Open To The Public

Questions Interior Dept. nominee on reopening entire statue to public

Washington - During confirmation hearings for Interior Secretary nominee Governor Dirk Kempthorne, United States Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) today called for the reopening of the entire Statue of Liberty to the general public. The New Jersey senator said opening only Liberty Island and portions of the statue is a disservice to the American people. In response to Menendezs questions, Kempthorne pledged to examine the issue and report back his findings.

Citing safety concerns, the National Park Service closed the Statue of Liberty to the public following the September 11th terror attacks. Two years ago, amid widespread publicity and fanfare, the National Park Service hailed the reopening of Liberty Island and the statue, despite only opening the pedestal and not allowing visitors to ascend the statue.

The Statue of Liberty is close to the hearts of many Americans, including myself, Menendez said. Countless Americans have taken their children up to the crown to see the magnificent view of the harbor, but no American has been able to share that experience since 9/11. In 2004, the National Park Service declared the Statue open again, but they only opened the island and the pedestal. I believe the Interior Department needs to fully reopen the Statue of Liberty to the public.

Menendez is a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. The committee is expected to vote on Kempthornes nomination next week.

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