DIARY: Liberty denied to all this 4th of July

The OpSail 2000 celebration in New York was hailed as the largest peacetime maritime event in history, as 150 tall ships and 70,000 vessels overall converged around Manhattan.

The OpSail 2000 celebration in New York was hailed as the largest peacetime maritime event in history, as 150 tall ships and 70,000 vessels overall converged around Manhattan.

The OpSail 2000 celebration in New York was hailed as the largest

peacetime maritime event in history, as 150 tall ships and 70,000

vessels overall converged around Manhattan.



But the ships, gliding majestically through New York Harbor to the

delight of millions of onlookers, did take one prisoner of war that day:

the Statue of Liberty. As it turns out, the ferryboats that transport

thousands of visitors to Ellis Island every day were grounded on July 4

so as not to interfere with the path of the tall ships.



Did it strike anyone as odd that on a day where we celebrate our

cherished independence, the most famous and cherished symbol of our

hard-earned liberty was off limits? Most news accounts of the event made

no mention of the closing, perhaps overcome by the OpSail hype

machine.



The New York Times did note the irony, equating it to closing St.

Patrick’s Cathedral on Easter Sunday to better make room for ’the

thousands flocking to Fifth Avenue for the fashion show known as the

Easter Parade.’



Lady Liberty declined to comment.



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