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It is in keeping with that spirit that we have proposed to build Historic New Amsterdam on a third of Governors Island. Along the lines of Colonial Williamsburg, it would popularly recognize this historically significant American period for all Americans to embrace and enjoy. We have been trying to persuade the New York Senate and Assembly to commit New York to the Historic New Amsterdam vision, provided it receives the island from the federal government for one dollar.
Earlier this year, we appealed to two legislative leaders to sponsor a bipartisan bill. But sponsorship is still wanting. A rare historical opportunity is slipping away into a political quagmire. Historic New Amsterdam on Governors Island can be a self-sustaining historical national monument for young families and create great tourism value for New York. It can serve as a symbol of importance to the nation within a National Heritage Triangle, comprising Governors Island, Liberty Island and Ellis Island or, if you like, tolerance, freedom and welcome. It can only be saved through the willingness of particular individuals in differing political jurisdictions to embrace their common American heritage and to communicate. If New Yorkers and their elected officials were to care, the Congress would care, too, and future New Yorkers would be the richer for it.