Visiting the Statue of Liberty (post 9/11)

The Statue of Security
During my visit, a group of elderly World War II vets festooned with embroidered patches reading “POW” and “Combat Wounded Veteran” were struggling to get through a secondary screening in a tent outside the statue. “No exceptions to the secondary security screening,” a burly officer growled as the EntryScan 3 puffed in the background. If these men want to visit the emblem of what they bled for on some godforsaken battlefield, the hats, belts, jackets, canes, and insignia pins all need to be removed and examined…again.

Two weary veterans demurred and were given a single stool to share between them while their comrades made the tour. Honoring veterans, U.S. Park Police style. It seemed ludicrously disrespectful, but perhaps Homeland Security had received a tip about a recently activated Al Qaeda sleeper cell recruited at Guadalcanal in ’42. Maybe someone saw something/said something. You don’t want some modern Fifth Column to blow off Lady Liberty’s arm, do you?