The Statue of Liberty reopened to the public on Thursday just in time to celebrate the nation's Independence Day.
It is the first time since Hurricane Sandy made landfall in New York City and caused damage to the tourist attraction eight months ago.
Lines stretched blocks long in Manhattan's Battery Park in the morning for boats to Liberty Island. A large crowd joined New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg for the holiday and ribbon-cutting ceremony.
"We came to New York city on a family vacation. We want to be here on July 4th to see the Statue of Liberty, because it's reopening. This is the first time we come here, and we've always wanted to come," said Perkins, who came from Arkansas along with his wife and kids.
When Hurricane Sandy smashed into the U.S. east coast on Oct. 29 last year, 75 percent of Liberty Island and all of neighboring Ellis Island were flooded.
While the statue and the pedestal escaped damage, most of the infrastructure on both islands were destroyed by the storm, with the damage reported at 59 million U.S. dollars.
Hundreds of National Park Service workers from as far away as California and Alaska spent weeks cleaning mud and debris. Some repairs to brick walkways and docks are still underway, but much of work has been completed.
"Today it's the first day we've been reopening. So far it seems to be a busy day," Supervisory Park Ranger at National Park Service Dapane Yun told Xinhua.
"You do need reservations to go inside. There're three types of tickets, 365 people can visit the crown daily, those tickets are only sold online, and the reservation goes pretty quickly as you can imagine; 3,180 can go to the top of the pedestal, and the rest of the visitors are welcomed to come on the island," she said.
Statue of Liberty National Monument drew 3.7 million visitors in 2011, the last full year the park was open. This contributed 174 million dollars to the economies of New York and New Jersey and supported more than 2,200 jobs.
The Statue of Liberty, dedicated on Oct. 28, 1886, was a gift of friendship from the French people to the U.S. people. It was designated as a national monument in 1924.