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Thousands sailed past the Statue of Liberty, weary from the long and arduous journey across the ocean, to Ellis Island where their fate would be decided by the guardians of the gateway to the land of opportunity. From 1892 to 1954 Ellis Island was the nation's busiest point of entry for the thousands of immigrants making their way to America in search of a better life than the one they had left behind. Over the 60 plus years as an immigration inspection point, over 2 million hopefuls passed through the gates of Ellis Island while many others were denied their dreams. It is said that nearly half of the nation's citizens can trace their ancestry back to at least one person who passed through Ellis Island, and many come here in search of documentation of this precious link. Today, Ellis Island is best known as the site of the Ellis Island Museum where visitors are taken through the site's long and eventful history. Individual stories are showcased while the echoes of countless others reverberate through the halls. Those who visit cannot help but be touched by this monument to the resilience of the human spirit and stories of the extraordinary lengths people are willing to go to for the ones they love.
Located in Liberty State Park, the Liberty Science Center stimulates learning and enhances the mind's natural state of thinking. There are several thematic exhibition areas covering topics that vary from evolution to architecture. Our Hudson Home, the da Vinci Surgical Robot Exhibit, Infection Connection and Skyscraper! Achievement & Impact are just some of the interactive exhibitions at LSC. These exhibitions allow kids to gain information and develop hands-on experience related to the topics. The center also houses the country's largest IMAX® Dome Theater, which is 88 feet (26.82 meters) in diameter and seats 400. A top-notch event space is available for private events, with upscale catering and a gorgeous view.
A short ferry ride from Lower Manhattan takes visitors to the serene and verdant Governors Island, where the city seems as if it is a world away. The island showcases its picturesque self during summers; in fact, it only opened to the public after 200 years of restricted military usage. The island affords some incredible views of it surrounding waterscape, Red Hook, Brooklyn, the Verrazano Bridge and the Manhattan skyline. The island is also home to some stirring historical sites like Castle Williams, Liggett Hall and the Admiral House, which are an escape into the island's past. Having played an integral role in the American Revolution, this island is a coastal paradise par excellence.
The Governors Island National Monument in New York City was a former base of the United States Coast Guard. The protected island consists of a historic district and is also a venue for concerts, festivals and other events. Visitors can also relax at any of the picnic areas on the island. Guided tours of the monument are available.
Located in Battery Park, this often overlooked memorial pays homage to the Merchant Marines who perished in various conflicts around the world. This particular sculpture designed by Marisol Escobar depicts Merchant Marines trying to save a compatriot from the frigid waters. The sculptor used an actual scene from a German U-boat captain, when the sub sank a ship carrying oil from Venezuela to Canada during WWII. The captain took a photo and Escobar used this shot as a guide. When you come at high tide, the man in the water who reaches up from the cold waters of New York harbor becomes submerged to the fingertips.
Not to be confused with the actor Robert Wagner, this park pays homage to former NYC deputy mayor, Robert F. Wagner Jr. It's located in Lower Manhattan, just west of Battery Park. The park provides great views of the Hudson River, New Jersey, the Statue of Liberty and it serves as an entryway to the manmade enclave of Battery Park City. A couple of other highlights in the park are the Museum of Jewish Heritage and the Skyscraper Museum.
Located in Battery Park at the very southern tip of Manhattan, this World War II memorial features eight 19-foot (5.8-meter) granite pillars engraved with the names of over 4600 U.S. servicemen who either died or were reported missing overseas in the western Atlantic Ocean during Word War II. The memorial's main attraction is a large bronze eagle which rests on top of a black granite slab in between the two rows of pillars. The memorial neighbors the historic Fort Clinton.