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The Statue of Liberty

“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-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Dear Clients & Friends,

As a lifelong Long Islander and New Yorker, I’m ashamed to admit that I didn’t get around to visiting the Statue of Liberty until I was in my 40’s.  Like many in this region, I just took the Lady with the torch for granted.

I’ve made a point to visit Lady Liberty and Ellis Island on several occasions since; a pilgrimage all Americans, and most citizens of the world, should make.  And with my most recent cruise around New York Harbor, I learned something new.

My nephew and his family visited from St. Louis this summer and he wanted to make sure his children, ages seven and four, saw the Statue of Liberty.  A journey that made me proud.  Our tour boat was filled with tourists from here and abroad - not another New Yorker in sight.  As we approached Miss Liberty, our tour guide recited facts and figures-the statue was a gift from France, meant to celebrate the lasting friendship between the two countries.  She is 151 feet tall and arrived in New York in 1885.  But there was one fact that gave me chills; the Statue of Liberty is one of the top three tourist destinations in the world.  The other two are the Great Wall of China and the Taj Mahal; architectural marvels, but neither represent what Lady Liberty does.

Later in summer, we had visitors from Germany.  My wife Joan had a pen pal from junior high school.  Ilona grew up in East Germany and she and Joan wrote letters throughout their school years, into adulthood.  Ilona, her husband Reiner and friend Angela toured the northeast; Philadelphia, Niagara Falls, Washington and New York City.  Without my asking Ilona revealed that she’d always wanted to visit the Statue of Liberty.  More chills.  As we celebrate the holidays, it’s good to remember that we are so fortunate to be Americans.

Once again, thank you for your continued business and your confidence in me and my Firm.

Warmest Regards,
Steven Rivera

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