An icy wind whipping his face, an endless line of people queued, controls bags, controls the people.
It will not have been the same thing, but when you’re there to embark in the ferry that takes you to Liberty Island and Ellis Island in New York in perspective a bit ‘relive the experience of immigrants who came to these shores in search of fortune.
Ok. Very perspective.
Because they were sailing in the ocean months before arriving in a strange country, who did not see on TV or on the web as it happens instead of us before one of our trips; in a country where they were often alone and foreigners, of whom did not know the language.
The emigrants had half an idea of what he would have expected the other side of the world, the only thing that gave them the strength to move and leave everything behind them – home, family, roots – was the hope of a better life .
With these thoughts were clouded my mind as the Statue Cruises ferry broke away from the dock and leaving behind a white trail in the water and the crazy New York skyline.
The Statue of Liberty in the distance I saw tiny grew bigger, as the torch of hope that shone high in hand.
The statue did not seem smaller than expected me, rather I did not imagine so proud, determined, full of pride … Impressions and emotions that I have wrapped while the ferry watched advantage of that navigate them around me She made her see from every facet.
I landed on Liberty Island I realized that there was little to do and see in that little island: the great protagonist was her. Statue of Liberty.
I have enjoyed far and wide, staring at 360 °, always with the wind that was whipping the face but also made the sky so bright.
Then the ferry sailed again to take me to Ellis Island.
Finally. The eagerly awaited this visit, I expected great emotions that have not been slow to make itself felt.
The complex of Ellis Island is very large, made up of many red brick tenements. Only one is open to visitors, and even completely, in fact, was recently re-opened after the renovations that followed the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy.
On the ground floor a path of explanatory panels, pictures and video door to discover the history of emigration to New York from its origins to more recent times. Among other things is provided free audio guide that accompanies the exhibition.
The best moment for me was when, up the stairs, I entered the great hall of the Registry: a large room, with a vaulted ceiling, completely empty if we exclude a few banquets and wooden benches.
Here arrived immigrants, upset by the journey by ship, thrown into an unknown world, with countless individuals probably in uniform or in shirts who turned to them in an incomprehensible language. I immediately imagined their state of total disorientation while the beautiful thoughts of hope that pervaded them had a few minutes before admiring the statue of liberty were overshadowed by new emotions of fear and bewilderment.
In this operating room doctors who checked the health conditions of migrants and assessing if they were healthy (and hence could enter the US), if they had to be quarantined, or if you really had to go home (can you imagine being returned to you after such a trip?).
At the time, the room was not so empty, was filled with benches on which people sit and wait for their turn: there must have been a confusion of voices and languages … Not like now, when the room is so empty that rumbles … I felt like a church: I was to keep my voice down, as in a kind of hushed respect. In the few banquets were a few pieces of paper testified stories of people who had made it through those controls and that they were now in effect integratissimi American citizens, with children and grandchildren … And here to read the stories a tear I to hold back.
Yes, I was excited, but for me there is something so strange move me.
And ‘This was the beauty of the journey to freedom that I rode between Liberty Island and Ellis Island, the confirmation and the celebration of the American dream that many have lived: arriving in a new land, full of hopes and expectations. And find fulfillment in all your prayers. An America that welcomes you with open arms whoever you are and wherever you come from. That gives you the means to achieve your goals and fulfill your dreams.
It ‘something huge. Beautiful.
Then I know that in fact in many cases the emigrants were living in poor conditions, in remote areas, were working at the day doing the worst jobs and the possibility of integration came long after their landing in the Big Apple.
But many have made it. And that is what counts and that justifies that emotion, that creepy when you see the torch of Lady Liberty standing tall in the sky or the Stars and Stripes flying in the wind fair. And that’s what still nowadays feeds the American Dream.