3 years ago by Bob Gough
Quincy Mayor John Spring has submitted the pictures in the photo gallery and describes what has been happening on the Sister City trip:
"The first photo is of the entire group on the steps of the HERFORD CITY HALL. Mayor Bruno Wollbrink and Landrat Christian Manz received us with members of the Freundeskreis Quincy.
Pictures were taken with Mayor Wolfgang Koch of Buende and Mayor Klaus Rieke of Enger.
The students are housed with students from Widukind Gymnasium Enger (a university preparatory school). Anette Gater-Smith is the teacher who
made the arrangements in Germany with the help of colleague Hendrik Kellner.
The Notre Dame students hosted the German students in April. The students are no longer just friends, but like members of an extended family.
This new dimension brings youth into our Sister-City relationship. It insures growth and development. The ties will endure long after we return.
Our stay in Berlin gave us the opportunity to really see the triumph of freedom at the Checkpoint Charlie Museum. The story of the many escape attempts made students understand how important the freedom we enjoy is.
I have included a night photograph of students at that great symbol of freedom, the Brandenburg Gate. To the north of the gate is the new American embassy. Just on the other side of the gate, thousands of people had gathered to watch the Euro 2012 Soccer championships. The crowd was even bigger tonight with huge celebrations for the German victory.
We visited a border memorial at the village of Hoetensleben. This memorial is preserved as an example of the impossibility of escape from the prison that was East Germany. It made our students more grateful for the the freedoms that we often take for granted.
It is impossible to put into words what I am witnessing, once again, as students share experiences and lives in the "Mother Country" of so many of Quincy's ancestors.
We can't believe that we are entering our final week with our friends in Germany!"