Article

Global Connections

Sandy and its Sister Cities Build Long-lasting Relationships

Peri Kinder

May 30, 2013

In 2003, Sandy Mayor Tom Dolan led a delegation to Riesa and made a return visit in 2005 when the Sandy City staff competed in a boat race during the Dragon Boat Festival.

 “The city is beautiful. Germany is unlike any place in the United States. It’s timeless. We learned a lot about WWII since Riesa was part of East Germany,” Duerksen says. “People are warm, generous and very polite. When you stay in someone’s home as a guest, it becomes a very personal experience.”

The Blaeserensemble in Riesa, an ensemble of young musicians, has visited and performed in Sandy twice and, for the first time, Sandy City will send performing arts groups to Germany. The American West Symphony and the Sandy Arts Guild will perform for Riesa’s residents in the fall of 2012.

When Riesa sends delegates to Sandy, they are fascinated with the culture of the West. Cowboys, horses, the mountains and the idea of the “Wild West” are intriguing to the visitors. They especially love touring the Olympic venues since they also made a bid to host an Olympic Games.

Duerksen says interacting with residents of the German town reinforces the idea of a global economy, international relationships and a sisterhood that crosses continents and oceans. She points to the notion that it’s difficult, if not impossible, to be at war with a nation whose people are considered friends, a philosophy started by Eisenhower after WWII. The Sister Cities program is one such program that is creating connections and personal relationships spanning borders and leading to a more peaceful world.

 

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