Japanese Sister City Anniversary...

For a huge part of my life in Temecula, I was extremely active in, and passionate about, the City's relationship with Daisen-Nakayama. I ventured with a student group to Japan and coordinated the Japanese students coming here. It was an unforgettable experience- whose memories I treasure.

Nakayama-Daisen is located on the southwest coast on the island nation of Japan. This town has approximately 7,000 people, a fraction of Temecula's population, and twenty years ago, the two joined in a Sister City relationship. Today was a celebration of that friendship.
Junko, far right, stayed with us, nine years ago, while on an adult exchange.
Friends from Japan reunited with their friends here. It was an afternoon of tanoshi (fun).
In honor of two decades of friendship, the Japanese Garden, installed for the 10th anniversary, was redesigned. According to a news announcement, "There's a striking new addition to the landscaping at Temecula's Duck Pond Park: a 10-foot-high, bright red torii gate that anchors the city's tribute to its sister city of Daisen, Japan.

The gate, which can be used to mark sacred spaces such as a mountain or rock, was recently installed as part of an overhaul of the Daisen area of the park that includes flowering cherry blossom trees, Japanese pine trees, a new plaque and statues of kitsune guardian foxes."  

Keri (L) was my mentor, cheerleader and great friend during my tenure with the Temecula Sister City Association.
 Daisen's Mayor and me.
Later, I went back to see the lanterns aglow.

In 1956, Eisenhower created the sister city program, whose entire purpose was to promote peace. President Eisenhower poignantly said, "You don't go to war with your friends." And friends are what we've made over the last twenty years. I am so happy I'm here to celebrate that fact.

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