Fort Wayne Sister Cities International and the city of Fort Wayne recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Gera alliance and the 35th anniversary of the Takaoka relationship as delegations from both cities arrived in Fort Wayne to commemorate the milestones. Takaoka and Fort Wayne established a relationship in 1977; Gera and Fort Wayne joined together in 1992.
Throughout the week there were numerous events marking the longevity and success of the alliances originating with the Armstrong administration in the ’70s. Mayor Henry’s administration was most cooperative in making the celebration memorable for guests and members.
Several nonprofits and companies, including the Waterfield Foundation, Chapman Fund, VisitFortWayne, Barrett & McNagny, Fort Wayne Metals, Chase Bank, Parkview and others, contributed to the success of the event.
With some exceptions, most elected officials were absent, including City Council, County Council, County Commissioners, as well as various appointees and agencies dedicated to the advancement of the quality of life in the Fort Wayne area.
It seems an organization such as Fort Wayne Sister Cities International that contributes to international understanding, economic development, tourism, educational opportunities, advancement of the arts, diversity and multiculturalism should receive greater support from Fort Wayne’s leadership.
Hundreds of citizens from other nations have visited Fort Wayne through the efforts of FWSCI. Hundreds of local residents have traveled at their own expense to advance the mission of the organization.
The vitality of existing sister city relationships influenced Mayor Henry to cooperate in establishment of an alliance with Taizhou, China. A delegation from Taizhou visited earlier in the summer to participate in the signing of documents establishing Fort Wayne’s fourth sister city.
A few hours of officials’ time to acknowledge FWSCI’s contribution to the community seems reasonable. If nothing else, international guests are entitled to the courtesy of a personal welcome by those who represent the greater Fort Wayne area. I hope this new relationship with Taizhou receives greater deference than that displayed to Gera and Takaoka visitors.
Because we are a republic, the unalienable rights of the individual are protected. The minorities are not beholden to the tyranny of the majority found in democracies.
When unjust laws mandate activities that are against the natural law and the law of nature’s God, they do not have to be obeyed. Past history of civil rights movements as championed by Martin Luther King Jr. and the media show that truth and justice can prevail against unjust laws.
The requirement to provide abortion and contraception that goes against religious beliefs will put citizens once again to the test. Failure to comply with these will lead to confrontation and fines, arrests and imprisonments. In the end, this attempt by a government dictate to force people to go against their consciences will fail.
Paul A. Reszel