Ellis Island Excursion

Despite it being the absolute peak of tourist season here in NYC we went on an excursion to Ellis Island a few days ago. I bought my ticket for the first ferry to the island, leaving the dock at 8:30am. It has been over twenty years since I visited Ellis Island. I was very happy with the changes that have been made since my last visit. I found two parts of the narrative presented to be very interesting.

The first is the anxiety we have always felt about who is allowed to be “American”. Given the current political climate it is easy to think that this is the only time in history we, as a country have wrestled with the idea of what an American looks like and who is allowed to come here. The exhibits at Ellis Island did a great job of illustrating the fact that this is something we have been struggling with since the colonial era. The unfortunate truth is that I don’t see this conversation ending any time soon.

The second aspect I found to be very interesting was how the different cultures that make up America have been mixing and informing one another. I suppose it is the positive side of the conversation about who an American is and what they look like. Because we are a fairly new country our national culture is still very much a work in progress and it is important for people to see that it is something that has been evolving with contributions from every group that lives here. It is impossible to live together without having some influence on one another.

At the moment none of my pictures can be uploaded to the wordpress site. I have uploaded them to google pictures. Here is the link:

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