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(October 8, 2019)

Mayor Jean Stothert will travel to France this week to formalize a Sister City Friendship Agreement with the Isigny-Omaha Intercom region along the Normandy Coast, including historic Omaha Beach.  

Mayor Stothert and Mrs. Anne Boissel, President Isigny -Omaha Intercom will sign the agreement at Isigny City Hall on October 16.

The announcement of the agreement and signing ceremony was first made on June 6, the 75th anniversary of D-Day. 

At Mayor Stothert’s request, the Omaha City Council passed a resolution September 24th supporting the establishment of the Friendship Agreement, which is the first step in the formal Sister City process.

“Omaha Beach is part of our country’s past and must always be remembered,” said Mayor Stothert. “History connects us, and the future will provide many opportunities for cultural, educational, business, and most importantly, the personal relationships which are fundamental to all sister cities. It is an honor for the City of Omaha to develop a Sister City relationship with this region.” 

Isigny-Omaha Intercom, a region of 59 townships will be the City of Omaha’s seventh Sister City.  The others are Shizuoka, Japan; Braunschweig, Germany; Siauliai, Lithuania; Naas, Ireland; Xalapa, Mexico; and Yantai, China.

“The iconic ties between Omaha and Omaha Beach in Normandy are rooted in history,” said Andrew Schilling, Vice-President of the Omaha Sister Cities Association.  “Based on that solid foundation, we at Sister Cities look to establish future exchanges and partnerships in the areas of education, culture, tourism, and business.  The Friendship Agreement opens an exciting door of opportunity between the Normandy region and the greater Omaha area.”

The Omaha Sister City Association made the initial contact with its counterparts in France, and learned there was shared interest in forming a sister city relationship In early March, a delegation of five Normandy mayors visited Omaha.  In April, a group from Omaha visited Normandy.  

Mayor Stothert will lead a delegation of 60 on the trip to Normandy October 11-18.  The group includes Chief of Staff Marty Bilek, members of the Omaha Sister City Association and Alliance Francaise d’Omaha.  The group will arrive in Paris Saturday October 12 and travel to Normandy on October 14.

 In addition to the official signing ceremony, the group will attend a flag-raising ceremony at the American Cemetery at Colleville sur Mer, and participate in wreath-laying ceremonies at the graves of Nebraska service members and at the National Guard Monument on Omaha Beach at Vierville.  The United States Air Force will commemorate the events with a fly-over of Omaha Beach by fighter aircraft of the European Command. The visit will end with a celebratory concert.  

“A great distance separates us, but a great friendship will connect us,” said Mayor Stothert. “I am proud to represent the citizens of Omaha as we recognize the historic importance of Omaha Beach and the sacrifices so many Americans made for our freedoms.”