In the Shadow of Liberty: The Chronicle of Ellis Island

By Edward Corsi | Go to book overview

CHAPTER III
AMERICA'S LAST LONG MILE

DEPORTATION problems of every description awaited me from my first day at the Island.

An hour or two before our Christmas concert, I learned that our program, in addition to being broadcast over a national radio network, was to be transmitted by short waves for the reception of listeners in foreign countries.

Broadcasting officials had requested that, when preparing my brief greeting to the several thousand visitors who were expected in our auditorium, I arrange to say something to the international audience.

The hour for the concert was nearing, and already most of the available seats had been filled, when finally I found time to work on the address I was to deliver. Our guest artists from the Metropolitan Opera Company and the National Broadcasting Company were arriving and, of course, I had to greet them. I had not had time to take so much as a look into the auditorium and had spoken to no member of my staff concerning the number of aliens who would be at the concert.

I was finishing the address when a friend came into the office and threw one of the printed programs down upon the desk before me. "Look at that!" he said in evident astonishment.

I glanced at the line he indicated: "Given by the Fellow Countrymen of those Immigrants who wait at our Gates."

-96-

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