Everyone intends to visit the Statue of Liberty. Not only is it impressive and a huge part of our history, but it’s part of our American Dream. You know: Give us your tired, your hungry, your huddled masses yearning to be free. My grandparents followed that invitation and here I am.
The statue’s in a metropolitan New York a major population area, withing driving of three huge airports and a short hop by train.
Why did it take me so long? I hate to drive in the city. So I put it off until the day my husband said he’d bought tickets for a tour. Another of my least favorite ways to travel, but hey, we’re already going.
It turned out to be a lousy day weather-wise. Pouring rain and cold kept us under overhangs and huddled in our raincoats.
The first stop was Liberty Park in New Jersey. This was my first surprise. I didn’t have to contend with the city traffic and parking is a huge lot. We entered a converted rail station where the emigrants took to the rail to cross this country. Chicago, St Louis, Baltimore, New Orleans could all be reached by those with a ticket and a little name tag with a destination fastened to their coats.
The ferry took me to Ellis Island. The place is a huge echoing building with areas describing the medical quarantines, the long lines, the luggage or lack of, and pictures of the ships.
Can I share with you my heart wrenching moment? I stood in the emigrant center. A huge room where every person had to register at one of the desks. A clerk phonetically wrote the name in a ledger and made sure you had enough money to find shelter.
All four of my grandparents walked through that room. Crossed the marble floor. Found a home and a dream. I cried as I had my husband take my picture. Because of them, here I am.
We crossed the short channel to the Statue. As many of you know, repairs are underway. I didn’t need to climb to the top to be happy I’d come.
Visit my website: http://www.barbaraedwards.net to see how I’m living my dream to be an author.