Thursday was a very exiting day. We boarded a train from Wilmington and headed into New York City early that morning.
Once the train arrived in the city, we headed to the subway station. The subway took us to the docks in southern NYC, where we went through security and waited in line before boarding a ferry. It was a beautiful day, the perfect day for touring the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
The reason we were in New York that day was because we are doing a unit on immigration to the U.S.. We had just finished a book club book called Island of Hope. It was about the purposes of Ellis Island and it also included some individual experiences from immigrants themselves. We visited the Statue of Liberty because it was mentioned several times in the book. It is also a really cool site to see, and I would say it was worth the visit!
Anyway, when we left the ferry and headed onto the island where Lady Liberty was standing, we found our way to the locker room. After we left our things in lockers, we began to journey over to the stairs up into the Statue of Liberty.
The stairs were steep and narrow, but despite my fears, I made it up to the crown of the Statue. It was an amazing view from up there. It was so high up, I couldn’t believe how high up we had gone.
After we came back down and bought our souvenirs, we hopped back on a ferry and began to leave that island for a new one, known as Ellis Island.
Ellis was a beautiful building, with a brick red color and wonderful design. However, I know that this was a place that many people did not find so amazing.
We walked through a few exhibits, and saw many things mentioned in the book. We saw the Great Hall, where all the immigrants waited before their examinations began. We saw the room where cases were heard before they were sent back to their homelands. In order to prove to officers that they could survive in America, a small court session was held, where the immigrant was given one final chance before they were sent back across the ocean.
It was an amazing experience, being on Ellis Island. I could go back three more times, and learn something new every time. It was awesome.
I hope to return to New York another time and revisit these historical sites. I really did take away a lot from my trip to the Big Apple.