Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Sent affectionately from Global Issues students...

Our first day started with a few inconveniences related to weather and traffic.  Nevertheless, by midmorning we found ourselves on Ellis Island via ferry from Battery Park (the George Washington bridge is stunning).  On our way, across the Hudson river, en route to Ellis Island we steamed within  yards of "Liberty Liberty."  Can you imagine the tens of thousands, millions, who first witnessed America with her image!   On Ellis Island, many students found themselves emotionally relating to the entry process experienced by so many would-be Americans.  Some students even traced their family name to the stone monument outside, dedicated to the migrants who risked much to start a new life in the US.  The day was just getting started...

On to the UN!  Wow!  To realize that UN grounds are international territory has interesting implications.  We sat in the Generally Assembly and the Security Council, as well as a tour of the UN humanitarian mission--such as poverty relief, women's empowerment, and primary education.  It was incredible to realize that representatives from all sovereign nations of the world meet here to discuss the most pressing global issues.

After the UN, we visited St. Paul's Church.  This was a moving experience, to put it mildly.  Built in 1766, the church is the longest standing public building in NYC.  It sits only yards from the former location of the twin tours, and served as the nerve center for 9/11 response teams.  While buildings around it collapsed or were severely damaged, St. Paul's emerged from the carnage without damage.  Having been there, it's hard not to consider a spiritual connection.  The church's interior is adorned with emotional memorabilia, family keepsakes, informational material,and the like.  The visit conjured up the images and reflections of that fateful wasn't easy, but entirely worthwhile....more tomorrow.--C-SC in NYC      

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