Sunday, March 20, 2011

Magical Moment 409, "Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears"

The museum at Ellis Island is filled with photographs, stories, facts, and written interviews of the historic days when immigrants to the U.S passed through the "Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears." I've been there a number of times now and am always struck by something new and fascinating. I can't get enough of the stories, some joyful, some heartbreaking. Thousands of people were sent back to their homelands after the excruciating voyage because they were deemed unfit for labor, a burden to society, or illegal in some way. There are stories of translators who hated to see immigrants deported, and so they would translate to the officials in a way that might keep them here. Over 300 babies were born on Ellis Island. Many people reunited with their families here after years, decades of separation. 

However, this short paragraph, transcribed for a particular exhibit, remains my absolute favorite part of the entire museum. This time, I remembered to take a picture so I could share it. I think you'll understand what a magical moment this was, for this girl and now me.

*I don't know if the second photo is of Katherine Beychok or not, I just thought it very sweet.