Flying over Manhattan and seeing the Statue of Liberty has always been a thrill for me. It is difficult to think of New York–or for that matter, the United States–without thinking of the beautiful Lady Liberty. Unless, of course, you are the Department of Homeland Security. According to DHS, New York has no national icons or monuments, which is why DHS funding was cut for the city.
New York City funding was cut by 40%, from $207.5 million to $124.4 million. In addition to dismissing the Statue of Liberty as a monument or icon, DHS similarly dismissed the United Nations Building, the Empire State Building, and the city’s library and major museums. Oh, and the New York Stock Exchange.
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton has asked DHS secretary Michael Chertoff to explain how the agency arrived at the conclusion that New York had no notable icons or monuments. I can’t wait to hear his reply.