Sunday, March 13, 2011

Magical Moment 402, "Your Mark"

Everyone wants to leave an impression on the world in some way, large or small. We want someone to remember that we were here. We strive for an impressive career or family. Something, anything to carry on our legacy when we're gone. Some end up in the history books, their name in bold print under the category of "revolutionaries," or "inventors." Some end up with fame and glory, their name in lights, beloved and admired by their fans. Some pass on without the world ever knowing their name, quietly living their lives, unaware of the impact they have on others. 

These people left their mark, like graffiti carelessly scribbled on a bathroom wall, "I was here." But oh what a wall they chose to write on. These are the walls of the immigrant processing center at Ellis Island. And now their doodle, their name, their mark, is forever displayed under a protective cover of Plexiglas for millions of visitors to look upon and marvel over. I thought about their life, their story, their hardships, their success, their courage. I placed my hand over an illegible signature and wondered, "Who was here?"


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Dawn said...

I just read a book on the people coming over and what they had to do - and what they went through when they got here. When I read that many had to be sent near broke my heart.
What an incredible feeling it must be to see those names and drawings and scribbles.
History. Real people.

Susan in the Boonies said...

I left my mark on my bedroom wall of the house that I grew up in. I thought I did it subtly. But my mother didn't really marvel at it, so much. If she wondered, I think she may have wondered why she allowed me to live.

The Ellis island wall makes a MUCH better story!!!

ds said...

Fascinating. Someday I would like to visit Ellis Island; I'm not sure whether any ancestors passed through there or not.
Those walls--like the caves of Lescaux in their way. Thanks for sharing.

laughwithusblog said...

What will I leave behind? The age old question comes to mind more often these days...

Linda said...

This is really interesting, Elizabeth. I've never really done any traveling and sightseeing in the northeast part of our country, but a visit to Ellis Island sounds tempting. It's a pretty safe guess that most of us had ancestors who came through there.