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State quarter has a 2001 date with Lady Liberty

Associated Press

NEW YORK - The Statue of Liberty edged out the Battle of Saratoga as the design for the state's commemorative quarter, Gov. George E. Pataki announced Thursday.

"As governor, you have to make tough decisions," said Pataki, who announced his choice in Battery Park City with the famous statue in the background. "This was one of the toughest."

The new quarter will feature the statue and the words "Gateway to Freedom" against an outline of New York State. Pataki said the design celebrates New York's history as an entry point for immigrants like his own grandparents.

The Choice ruffled feathers upstate, where Saratoga County officials had lobbied for the "Victory at Saratoga" design depicting the American victory over the British in the 1777 Battle of Saratoga.

"It's ridiculous, although I'm not surprised," Schuylerville Mayor Kim Gamache Said.

"The Statue of Liberty has been done to death," Gamache told the Schenectady Gazette on Wednesday.

Students in a summer program at Stuyvesant High School, several of them immigrants or the children of immigrants, joined Pataki for the announcement.

Yuen Tian, 14, called the Statue of Liberty "the guide to the golden door of potential and opportunity."

The quarter is set to appear in circulation in January.

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