We aren’t here today to bow before the representation of a fierce warlike god, filled with wrath and vengeance, but we joyously contemplate instead our own deity keeping watch and ward before the open gates of America and greater than all that have been celebrated in ancient song.
Instead of grasping in her hand thunderbolts of terror and of death, she holds aloft the light which illumines the way to man’s enfranchisement.
We will not forget that Liberty has here made her home, nor shall her chosen altar be neglected. Willing votaries will constantly keep alive its fires and these shall gleam upon the shores of our sister Republic thence, and joined with answering rays a stream of light shall pierce the darkness of ignorance and man’s oppression, until Liberty enlightens the world.
Grover Cleveland, Dedication speech for the Statue of Liberty (28 October 1886).