According to the New York Times, there is a movement to push for Anne Frank to be granted honorary U.S. citizenship (“A Push for Citizenship to Honor Anne Frank, but It’s No Easy Sell,” Feb. 25, 2007):
How the issue came to emerge from this old seaside Long Island village is almost as intriguing as the question itself. In a compact grid of a dozen square blocks that seem cut from a Currier and Ives catalogue, there are 11 churches and zero synagogues.
The idea was proposed three years ago on the 75th anniversary of Anne Frank’s birth by a Sayville resident named Christopher Bodkin, a Republican town councilman who is known around town as a kind of serial memorializer. Over the years Mr. Bodkin, 59, has researched, documented and led successful campaigns to erect memorials to Sayville citizens who died in World War II and in the Vietnam War.
His campaign for Anne Frank’s citizenship, however, is of a different order, he said in an interview: “When you come from a town like this, you tend to grow up thinking that the whole world has always been like this. Placid. Settled. It’s amazing to me how much people don’t know about what came before us.“
What about what’s coming now? For Christ’s sake, we’re involved in a horrible civil war in Iraq because a few zealots wanted to win an election in 2004. Iraq is a spectacle of American weakness. Yes, it’s a very placid, settled world indeed. And the suburbanites on Long Island are living it up!
I don’t really see what good giving Anne Frank American citizenship does myself. And if we’d given her a visa in 1941 in the first place, she never would have become the archetype she is.
- Christopher Bodkin of the Islip Town Council