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We Have Seldom Been So Proud of Our City

Editorial originally published April 29, 1958, in The Worthington Daily Globe

The Bridge sculpture in Worthington, located at Chautauqua Park, is one support of the "bridge across the world"; the other half is located in Crailsheim, Germany.
The Bridge sculpture in Worthington, located at Chautauqua Park, is one support of the "bridge across the world"; the other half is located in Crailsheim, Germany.
Tim Middagh / The Globe
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We have seldom been so proud of Worthington. We have lived with this city through other memorable hours. We have rejoiced with her over many honors. But we have never felt quite the same measure of pride as we felt in that instant when we heard the report that Worthington had been selected by a distinguished international committee for the first World Brotherhood Award.

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Oberburgermeister Dr. Christoph Grimmer, Mayor Mike Kuhle and Paul Summers LaRoche were among the speakers.

Those of our readers who are also Worthington residents will share our pride. We believe that the readers who are not Worthington residents will understand our pride.

We are not basking in idle vanity. That would be a contradiction of the spirit of the award. But we rejoice that of all the activities of man, and of all the activities of this community, our fellow citizens have been singled out for their contributions to world brotherhood. Their energies could not have been directed toward a more commendable goal.

It would be appropriate that we take this early opportunity to congratulate Rochester, N.Y., which received a similar citation for cities over 100,000 population.

And we believe it would also be appropriate to publish here, in its entirety, the text of the statement by the judges regarding Worthington’s award.

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“Worthington,” the report begins, “is one of many small American communities which, shortly after World War II, experimented with a new formula for international understanding called ‘town affiliation.’ As early as 947 it paired off with the city of Crailsheim, Germany, and began the first American community exchange of friendship and ideas with the citizens of a former enemy country.

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Crailsheim gave Eva a lot - but her favorite thing is curiosity!

“Today, 10 years later, the Worthington affiliation with Crailsheim is still going strong, and is recognized throughout America as one of the most successful and promising programs of this type. Its impact on Crailsheim and in Worthington alike, as evidenced by the material sent in from Worthington, is growing steadily.

A view of Crailsheim, located on the Jagst River, shows the old city hall tower in the center of town.
A view of Crailsheim, located on the Jagst River, shows the old city hall tower in the center of town.
Julie Buntjer / The Globe

“The judges were impressed by the ‘tone’ of this affiliation. The initial statement of purpose drawn up in 1947 is a solid and impressive outline of Worthington’s determination to organize its efforts along realistic lines, avoiding undue fanfare, and stressing the mutuality of interest that must be cultivated before people can learn to appreciate and understand one another. Worthington has not deviated from these basic principles.

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Janssen's year in Crailsheim changed his life

“When, during the early stages of the program, the emphasis was on material aid, Worthington gave generously without condescension, and with a deep sensitivity to the pitfalls of overdone charity. In 1957, when they sent their two community ambassadors to Crailsheim to live for one year, these young men were given comprehensive and successful training, before their departure, in the German language and in backgrounds of German history and life. The Worthington newspaper and radio station have utilized this affiliation to present the broader aspects of German-American understanding in a lively and comprehensive fashion. German visitors have become ‘one of the family,’ and one gets the impression that the distance separating these ‘sister cities’ has somehow lost meaning.

Crailsheim unveiled its bridge sculpture during a ceremony in 2014.
Crailsheim unveiled its bridge sculpture during a ceremony in 2014.
Julie Buntjer / The Globe

“In considering the Worthington story, the judges soon realized, however, that the Crailsheim affiliation, remarkable as it has been, was merely the triggering mechanism for a community-wide response to world issues which, as documented in the Worthington exhibits, left several of the judges wondering how the people of Worthington found time for anything else.

“Foreign student hospitality programs, a continuous stream of distinguished foreign visitors (including Russian farmers, Roumanian election observers, Indian editors, etc.), Hungarian refugee programs, pen-pal activities, and overseas exhibits are merely a few of the specialized activities which Worthington seems to take as a matter of course in the pursuit of international brotherhood.

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Host families:

“Here again, in all of these programs, the judges noted a genuineness, a desire to be impressed rather than to impress, and an almost total lack of self-consciousness in dealing with men and women from every corner of the world.

“As in the case of Rochester, Worthington seems to be thoroughly self-reliant in the conduct of international affairs, calling upon the appropriate governmental and private national agencies when they are needed, and knowing exactly where to turn to find them. There is evident desire, however, to remain ‘unexploited’ for any but the broadest international purposes and a healthy insistence on deeds rather than words with respect to the large amount of national and world publicity Worthington has received.

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“With regard to the community-wide aspects of the Worthington story, there is no question whatever but that leadership and initiative is built upon the broadest possible foundations. The list of participating organizations and individuals is a roster of the community itself.

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The sousaphone Günter received from Worthington is one of the reasons he plays in the Crailsheim City Band today

“As for the extent of Worthington’s ‘challenge,’ the judges could not fail to note the amount of intelligent self-questioning that went on on in the 1947 selection of an ‘enemy’ city; they noted Worthington’s comparative isolation from the great cosmopolitan centers on either coast, its lack of large industrial resources or habitual world travelers, and the predominantly rural background from which these manifestations of world responsibility have developed.

“Worthington, in short, was a source of deep inspiration to the entire committee. It was a privilege to review its remarkable story and to select it as the winner of the World Brotherhood Community award for towns within its population range.”

Two countries, one love created between Worthington, Minnesota and Crailsheim, Germany.
Two countries, one love created between Worthington, Minnesota and Crailsheim, Germany.
Julie Buntjer / The Globe

Copies of the book "Worthington & Crailsheim: 75 Years of Partnership" are available at the Nobles County Historical Society in downtown Worthington.

Worthington & Crailsheim: 75 Years of Partnership
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Copies of the book "Worthington & Crailsheim: 75 Years of Partnership" are available for purchase at the Nobles County Historical Society in downtown Worthington.
75th Anniversary book, lapel pin unveiled during visit by Crailsheim band, city residents.
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Originally published July 25th, 1947, in the The Worthington Daily Globe
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Originally published April 29, 1958, in The Worthington Daily Globe
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Chad's year in Crailsheim had a family connection
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Staci remembers crossing the Berlin Wall into East Germany
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Astrid became an Opera singer after her year in Worthington
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Dieter's love of exploring wildlife only grew in Worthington
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The sousaphone Günter received from Worthington is one of the reasons he plays in the Crailsheim City Band today
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Host families:
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Janssen's year in Crailsheim changed his life
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Crailsheim gave Eva a lot - but her favorite thing is curiosity!
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Editorial originally published April 29, 1958, in The Worthington Daily Globe

Related Topics: CRAILSHEIM75
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