The Statue of Liberty’s torch lights the way to freedom showing us the path to Liberty. Even the Statue’s official name represents her most important symbol “Liberty Enlightening the World”.
The statue is a figure of Libertas, a robed Roman liberty goddess.
She holds a torch above her head with her right hand, and in her left hand carries a tabula ansata inscribed JULY IV MDCCLXXVI – the date of the U.S. Declaration of Independence.
A broken shackle and chain lie at her feet as she walks forward, commemorating the recent national abolition of slavery.
Its most famous passage speaks to the statue’s role as a welcoming symbol of freedom and democracy for the millions of immigrants who came to America seeking a new and better life:
“Give me your tired, your poor
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”