Visiting Ellis Island

 I recently visited Ellis Island with a friend. I realized how truly significant Ellis Island was and still is.

Ferry from New Jersey to Ellis Island
From 1892 to 1954, almost 12 million immigrants arrived at the Port of New York and New Jersey and were processed by federal law. Ellis Island was the biggest immigrant and processing station in the United States. Ellis Island, during World War I and II, became facilities for detainees for the prisoners of war. 

When you enter the building, it seems dark despite the gift store and the reception area in the lobby. I think it was meant to really appear that way to preserve maybe an inkling of what the immigrants felt as they were entering the building. We used the audio sets provided to even make our visit more educational and meaningful. As we went through an open area and then

Ellis Island

several rooms on the 2nd floor indicating what each room was, along with photos of the past, I felt this heavy, indescribable eerie feeling of how and what these immigrants had to go through. To have been born back then, to leave your home country to live a new life in America. To go thru long lines, being assessed by medical and immigration officials, and not know whether you'll be sent back, held, or finally get "in" America.

The feeling was just too heavy that we had to get out of there fast. 

That visit gave me a different perspective and sometimes makes me ashamed of how sometimes I  magnify my personal problems. Whatever I am dealing with, it is definitely not worse than what these past immigrants had to go through, had to leave in order to have a new life in America.

Thank you America for giving us an opportunity to live a life of opportunities!