Jun 26, 2013

Fwd: Emilio Estefan Celebrates Liberty this July 4th!


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Dear Terry Travers,

With Lady Liberty reopening on the 4th of July, I am so pleased to be a part of it as a member of the Board of The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation.

I had a boy's dreams of a freer life when I fled Cuba nearly 50 years ago. Like generations of immigrants before me, I said good-bye to my grandfather for the last time, even though America's shores lay just 90 miles away.

And now the Statue of Liberty, a beloved icon of freedom and opportunity, is ready once again to welcome visitors from around the world! The Hurricane Sandy repairs on Liberty Island are completed, so I highly recommend paying a visit to The Lady this summer, whether it's your first or fifth time. She's always an inspiration!

The Ellis Island Museum remains closed unfortunately as hurricane-related repairs continue. But I'm especially pleased to let you know construction of the second phase of the Peopling of America © Center is back underway. These Post-Ellis galleries will tell the stories of American immigration after the Island closed in 1954--stories of people fleeing war-torn countries, economic distress or, like me and my family, oppressive regimes. A highlight of the Center focuses on American citizenship.

I can tell you that the day we each became American citizens - Gloria at age 18 in 1975 and me at age 20 in 1973 - was a day we will never forget. It marked our full participation in this democracy, which brings benefits and responsibilities, both of which we treasure.

A few years ago we were delighted to receive the Foundation's B.C. Forbes Peopling of America Award which celebrated our arrivals here and the contributions we have been fortunate to make to the American Experience. It meant so much to us to accept the award in Ellis Island's iconic Great Hall, where so many others had begun the pursuit of their American dreams.

On this July 4th join us in taking a moment to be grateful for all the blessings we have in this country. Let's celebrate our heritage, whether our families arrived a hundred years ago or just last year. We are all Americans, living in the best country in the whole world! Let's never forget that and never take our freedom for granted.

I was blessed to be born in Cuba. But I am so grateful to this country that I have adopted and embraced and which has adopted and embraced me right back. God bless America!

Emilio Estefan

P.S. Please share with us what Lady Liberty means to you here.
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Lady Liberty Reopens
July 4th!

statue of liberty
Accepting our Ellis Island Family Heritage Award
in Ellis Island's historic Great Hall.

statue of liberty
With our fellow honorees Jerry Seinfeld, Joe Namath
and Nobel Prize winner Dr. Eric Kandel.

Spangled Liberty

The Wall
Of Honor

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The Statue of Liberty- Ellis Island Foundation, Inc
17 Battery Place, Ste 210, New York, NY 10004-3507

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