If you’ve done any amount of Wikipedia searches involving finding out about cities internationally, you’ve probably noticed a couple of times that, almost as a footnote, a city will be twinned with another city in another country which seems to have no connection whatsoever- culturally, linguistically, or ethnically. Perhaps you’ve been puzzled over this a little but today I’m going to explain the whole concept along with my discovery and what it means to me.
In 1948 the Sister City concept became a reality in Europe in relation to the U.S. only for the second time in history ! A Denver East High School teacher, Ms. Amanda Knecht, was visiting the city of Brest during vacations in summer of 1947. Brest had been heavily bombed because it was a major naval and army base with a large fleet. They were bombed over a period of six weeks during WWII in which the U.S. Air Force was trying to take out the occupying Germans. After more than 5,000 flyovers and sorties the Germans finally surrendered and the entire area around Brest, known as Finistere (means: lands end ) was freed of Nazi occupation.
When Ms Knecht returned to Denver she shared her experiences about the devastation she had seen while visiting Brest to her students. During that school year starting at the end of 1947, she and her students raised money in excess of $32,000.00 in spare pennies, nickels and dimes. This amount was presented to the City of Brest to be used in rebuilding the Children’s Wing of the Brest City Hospital. In response to this gesture the City of Brest immediately proceeded with the concept of jumelageor affiliation between Brest and Denver and this establishment started the continuation by association ever since. It is established by the connections of people-to-people contact and simply matching cities together which have a common goal to achieve.
The next time you do a search on Wikipedia for cities, in particular, look near the bottom portion of the information and you’ll find that many cities today, major or minor in importance, are twinned with another or several cities. The concept is not new and began with this original affiliation between Denver, Colorado in the USA and Brest in Brittany, France.
The Castle Lady with twin kisses just for you