The island that ushered millions of immigrants into the United States received visitors Monday for the first time since Superstorm Sandy.
The halls and buildings of the Ellis Island Immigration Museum reopened to the public nearly a year after the storm. Sandy swamped boilers and electrical systems and left the 27.5-acre island without power for months.
"It was just so heartwarming to see visitors step onto this island," said David Luchsinger, the superintendent for Ellis and the neighboring Statue of Liberty. He was at the ferry slip to welcome the first arrivals.
"This is an icon," he said, speaking of the island and its role in the nation's diversity. "It's what this country is all about."