Anniversary CelebratiON eVENT

1912- 2012


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The Immigrant Experience

On Friday June 22, 2012, fifty four of us traveled to New York for the Immigrant Experience. Our bus left Philadelphia at 7am and our first stop was in New Jersey where we boarded the ferry for our trip to Ellis Island. Here we toured the immigration center and viewed many pictures and artifacts from multiple nationalities as they arrived in America. We listened to and read their accounts and was captivated by the detail of their travels and marveled at the restored buildings.  From here we traveled to New York and toured the Tenement museum. This consisted of an original tenement building with five floors. We were broken up into four groups and each group was led on the tour to a different floor by a very knowledgeable and competent guide. This was an interactive tour and we had much time for questions and answers. It was a very moving experience as you were able to really live a day in the life of an immigrant family and the struggles, joys and pains they went through. After this we rode over to Tony Di Napoli's for a family style dinner. The food, service and atmosphere was excellent and many of us spent the time talking about all we had seen that day. Our ride home was complete as we viewed the film “Pride and Passion, The Italians in America”, which detailed the lives of the many Italians who came to America, the enormous obstacles they faced , the importance of family life and the  many contributions they have made. It depicted how we transitioned being Italians to Italian Americans to American Italians. Overall it was a beautiful experience and truly gave you an appreciation for what all  immigrants went through on their quest for a better life in America : their struggles to live day to day and how they embraced the American way of life and always worked to better themselves and make a better life and future for their children. We remarked to each other how a lot of it is still true today as we welcome even more immigrants into this land of freedom and promise. How proud we are to be Italian and descendants of these great people but also to appreciate all the other nationalities and what they have sacrificed and contributed to America as well. It is truly a melting pot.......Cent' Anni!        John Girado

Pictures donated by, Maria (Carto) Schiavo & John Girado

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