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Digital Subscriptions > Cities Today > Issue 22 > “Different mayors come in, different presidents–and we’re still here. It works.”

“Different mayors come in, different presidents–and we’re still here. It works.”

What is Sister Cities International and how did you get involved?

President Dwight D. Eisenhower on September 11, 1956 called together about 40 national leaders for the White House Conference on Cities and Diplomacy. There were judges, leaders of industry, union leaders, and university presidents– people from all over. They talked about how we could pair relationships around the world, specifically with Germany and Japan after WWII, so that we didn’t return to war.

Having been a General in the US Army, [Eisenhower] had seen war and he knew that the people who lived in these countries were not bad people. It’s the disagreements between government leaders [that led to war]. So, his call to action was to connect people and we could use local governments, but if necessary, we could evade governments to bring folks together so they could learn a little bit more about each other. In the end, no one wants war and everyone loves their country, loves their families, and wants something better for their children.

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