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Reinforcing LIBERTY

With the Statue of Liberty restoration nearly half completed, the Monitor pays a special tribute to the men and women who are working to save this great monument for all time. Many of these workers are the grandchildren of immigrants who came to this country with little more than the hope of a bright future for their families. As Barth Falkenberg took their photographs at the base of the statue recently, some told of what working on this statue, which has served as a symbol of freedom for so many, has meant personally to them. Mattio Bomarito Family heritage: Italian Occupation: laborer

``I came to this country in 1967. I have four sons and one daughter and now one of my sons is the labor foreman on the statue. He is the boss here, at home -- no.'' Bill Zsidisin Family heritage: Czechoslovakian Occupation: project inspector

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``My job is to check out the workmanship on the job, which by the way is excellent. There is a real esprit de corps among the workers here. I've been on a lot of construction sites in my day and I've never seen such teamwork.'' Daryl Chalmers Family heritage: English/Trinidadian Occupation: sodium blaster

``instead of sandblasting we are using sodium bicarbonate -- you know, like baking soda -- to clean up the copper because it's a lot gentler than using sand. I have a lot of pride working on this great monument.'' Mary Thayer Family heritage: Irish Occupation: site nurse

``I have to make sure I'm able to climb the scaffolding. The first time I went up there I had to act like I wasn't scared, but I got used to it. It gets really windy but I don't worry about it if I'm up there to help someone.'' Matthew Martin Family heritage: Scottish Occupation: iron worker

``I think it's a wonderful thing that all the people from different countries passed by this statue and were welcomed into this country. Now the children of all those people are helping to erect her all over again.''

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