A Basketful of Earth
Ellis Island was the first piece of America that millions of immigrants ever touched. It is a little island in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor and the point of entry for immigrants coming through New York. They would book passage for the cheapest price they could and travel way down below the decks. Finally, the boat would reach America, they would step off and enter this long, red brick building on Ellis Island. It's cavernous and echoes on the inside. They had to go through certain steps that eventually permitted them to move from the island and on to their real destination, which was New York City and the mainland. The people carried all their belongings in a basket, which was okay because they knew the island was not where they would live. Out of all those thousands who came to the island, not one ever set up a house there, because they were not going to be there very long.