Thursday, December 1, 2011
Libby, You Are One Classy Dame
When I was younger I was such a history nerd and no doubt THAT is the reason I went chose the path as a historian once I went to college. But when I say history nerd, I mean history nerd.
I remember there would be topics I would hear about and then I would be stuck on them for forever. First it was Kate Shelly and how she shaved the passenger train. Then there was the Titanic. Anything and everything Titanic I could learn about, I did. And then there was WWII, and then Ellis Island.
I don't remember how old I was at the time. Still fairly young, way before high school even. I would go to the library and pour over the coffee table books that were filled with pictures of immigrants coming to our country. I would think about how it must have felt to spend weeks, even months, upon one of those cramped passenger liners and I would try to imagine how I would feel if I were a immigrant way back then. How I would feel when I saw the Statue of Liberty for the first time and fully grasp everything she stood for.
When Beau and I first moved to the city, she was the first thing we saw as we went over the bridge and it was INCREDIBLE. Even though she was teeny tiny and I had to squint to see her, she still took my breath away. And I started to feel a little bit like someone starting a new life in a very big city so very far away from everyone and everything I knew. Wow...
When my brother came out to visit this past spring we had gone down to Battery Park and I wanted so badly to go. Beau and I had gone down to the park a few times to just sit there and look out across the harbor. She may be old, but she has always meant something to me. And she has such a huge place in my heart. It gives you so much pride as an American as you look out at her.
Beau had always know how much her symbolism means to me and so a couple weeks ago we bundled up and headed down to the harbor. We were boarding the boat and we were going to get a close up view of...her...
Shes so beautiful...
I was just so excited. And the closer we got, the more emotional I became. Perhaps it was because of all the different languages I could hear being spoken around me. I wondered if maybe their ancestors came to America this way, and I thought about my ancestors who saw the same thing I was seeing, so many years ago. They too were filled with so much hope and promise. They came to America looking for a better life.
As we boarded the ferry to take us to Ellis Island I was just so extremely pumped. Jumping up and down like a little kid. Walking through this extremely historically significant building was just so incredible, almost sacred in a way. I almost felt as though, if I were there all alone, I could stand in the middle of the grand hall and hear all the voices from the past. Mmm...
And as we made our way back to Battery Park, this is what you see:
America...That tall building is where the World Trade Center once stood and is now the site of the 9/11 Memorial. To the far left is the Empire State Building. I just thought it was so incredible. How different it must look now. Can you imagine coming from a country with virtually no sky line to this? How intimidating and scary it must have been. Will I make friends? Will I find work? Where will I live? Will anyone speak my language? The struggles our ancestors must have faced all to be FREE. It makes so sad to think that our great country once held so much promise and "hope." What a drastic change. I wish everyone could place themselves in the shoes of those who came here long before we were born, long before our grandparents or great-grandparents were born. Maybe then we wouldn't allow ourselves to be walked all over by an increasingly corrupt government. Its just sad.
And on that happy note...
We are so blessed to live in this great country. Don't let your freedom be taken from you.
In Gods Love,
Beau and Kenz