When the ship came abreast of the Statue of Liberty, ‘Abdu'l-Bahá stood erect facing the Statue and held up His arms in salutation.
'There is the new world's symbol of liberty and freedom,' He said. 'After being forty years a prisoner I can tell you that freedom is not a matter of place. It is a condition . . . When one is released from the prison of self, that is indeed a release.'
'Abdu'l-Bahá waved farewell to the Statue as the ship turned towards Manhattan. To the reporters He said, 'In former ages it has been said, "To love one's native land is faith." But the tongue in this day says, "Glory is not his who loves his native land, but glory is his who loves his kind - humanity."' (An account given by a reporter who boarded ‘Abdu'l-Bahá’s ship as it entered the New York harbor, 1912; Quoted in ‘The Flame, the Story of Lua’, by William Sears & Robert Quigley)