There are many fascinating stories associated with the U.S. Immigration Station, Angel Island. Many of us are familiar with the experience of Chinese immigrants whose stories are carved on the walls of the Detention Barracks. Less familiar is the role the Immigration Station played during 1914 to 1919 as World War and the Mexican Revolution drove refugees and prisoners-of-war to Angel Island.
We wish to thank Maria Sakovich, public historian and independent scholar, for allowing us to share this look at another aspect of the Immigration Station’s history. This article also appeared in Prologue, the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration magazine in Summer 2009, Vo. 41, No. 2.
Silvia Lange, a longtime volunteer docent at Angel Island State Park and friend of AIISF, was reported missing on January 25, 2010. Her car was found with two dogs inside at the Point Reyes North Beach parking lot. Another of Silvia's dogs was found with a leash caught up on some rocks along the beach. Search parties have been unable to find her.
A year ago, Silvia participated in the Grand Reopening of the Immigration Station as she provided historical interpretation of Deaconess Katherine Maurer, who helped immigrants for nearly 30 years at Angel Island. Silvia also joined us at the January 21, 2010 100th anniversary commemoration. She said it brought her great joy to welcome each new U.S. citizen as she handed them a program.
Our prayers and well wishes go out to her friends and family. Anyone with information about Lange's whereabouts is urged to call National Park Service rangers at 415-464-5170.
The poems that were carved on the walls of the Immigration Station by Chinese immigrants continue to move people. Those poignant, angry, reflective and visceral expressions are universal declarations of the human spirit In the coming months, we will share some recently translated poems written by Japanese immigrants to Angel Island. Written both by men and women, these poems were sent to Bay Area Japanese newspapers from 1910 to 1930.
As part of the celebration of the Immigration Station’s 100th anniversary in 2010, we will publish the works of contemporary poets who have been inspired by the Angel Island poems. Nancy Hom and Leon Sun are artists and community activists as well as poets. We are pleased to share their work with you.
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