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My Family Odyssey: Voyage to America on the S. S. Finland, April 14, 1921

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” God Bless America” by Irving Berlin. Sung by Lyric Soprano Deanna Durbin. Irving Berlin immigrated to America, earlier than my Dad, on a Red Star Line Ship from Antwerp, Belgium.

Red Star Line MuseumAntwerp, Belgium, opened in 2013. They welcome your family stories of immigration on their ships.

“My Family Odyssey: April 14, 1921”
“The little boy, age 3, perched on his father’s shoulders with his Mom leading the way, is my Dad. The Ellis Island registry listed him arriving in 1921, on the Red Star Line S. S. Finland, from Antwerp. His family is looking at the Statue of Liberty and the New York City landscape, a bas-relief on the back of the boy’s jacket. The violin is reminiscent of the beautiful music my Dad played for us most days after work as a talented Mechanical Engineer. The flag, with 48 stars in 1921, is symbolic of the pride my father always felt being an American citizen.”

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“The Sculpture, “My Family Odyssey” is a valuable contribution to the understanding of the personal lives of the immigrants who came to the United States through Ellis Island. The museum will use the piece in permanent and temporary exhibits, for loan to other institutions and for research by historians and others interested in the Statue of Liberty and American immigration.”

– John Piltzecker
Superintendent of the Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island Museum
National Park Service – United States Department of the Interior
http://www.nps.gov/elis/index.htm

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“Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor ” – Norman Luboff Choir – From Irving Berlin’s 1949 musical ‘Miss Liberty’. Straight from the 1958 vinyl.

This poem is engraved on the Statue of Liberty Monument and inspired the song:
“Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame,
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

by Emma Lazarus, New York City, 1883


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