Contemplating history or what chain of events has brought us to this point in modern times is a tricky and brain draining process. I notice that anytime I think about the great explorers that came before, I somehow drift into a place in my mind that loses focus and then…poof…I usually snap out of is and think,….whoa. Then I put my tongue back in my mouth.
A similar feeling was had this past Friday as we entered the front doors of the Ellis Island Immigration Museum.
Standing in the entryway looking at the original tile floors that have been in place since the rebuild of the main structure in 1900 told me that I was not in a museum….I was in a place where lives changed and miracles happened for thousands.
Maybe it was the contrast of what we had seen in Aushwitz, or maybe it was the pure realness of US history that was all around us…..whatever it was, this place was powerful stuff.
We were lucky enough to snag an exhibit intern that worked on the property to give us a free tour of the museum. Emma, our guide, was quite educated on the immigration movement and knew about as much as any one person could about Ellis Island. She explained the process that the immigrants went through upon entering, the medical exams, paperwork and even the interesting fact that pregnant women had to give birth on the island before they were admitted in to the country.
Really cool but it was the photography that told the real story. The walls of the museum were decorated with images of people from across the globe that had made the decision to venture to the new world for a better life for themselves and their families.
You could literally see in the faces of those aboard the ships that they had no idea what to expect. Thousands came to work, send money home, and build towards the dream we all are living out today.
Well worth the $13 and if you have the time, the boat cruises past Lady Liberty who’s always prepped for a photo op.
Thanks for readin,