Sculpture honoring Bay City's 60 year anniversary with its German sister city unveiled
BAY CITY, MI – A new sculpture is now shining bright in Bay City’s Uptown to pay homage to the city’s 60th anniversary with its sister city over 4,000 miles away in Germany.
The sculpture, “Two Cities Connect,” was unveiled at the new Ansbach Platz at Uptown on Saturday, Sept. 17. The sculpture is made up of a split globe connected by a large metal arch, uniting Bay City and its sister city Ansbach, Germany together as one.
Related: Sculpture honoring Bay City’s German sister city to be unveiled at Uptown
Bay City Hall’s signature clocktower is framed in between the split globe when looking east at the sculpture.
“It’s breathtakingly beautiful,” Bay City Mayor Kathleen Newsham said Saturday. “It’s something that we’ve dreamed about for a while and thanks to all the people who came together to make it a dream come true. It’s just so exciting.”
The Leadership Bay County Class of 2022 spearheaded the project, and the sculpture was designed by students at the Bay-Arenac ISD Career Center.
“This artwork we dedicate this morning is also a symbol of collaboration between our school, our leaders the city, and many community stakeholders,” said John Kaczynski, who was active in the project.
“This collaboration embraces the creativity of our students that designed this project, it brought out the best in philanthropy through our Leadership Class of 2022 and showed all partners at the table about the great things we can do in this community.”
Delegates from Ansbach as well as students who were participating in an exchange program were in attendance. They traveled over 4,000 miles to celebrate this special occasion with their friends in Bay City.
Following the sculpture unveiling, a special Bay City Commission meeting was held at noon as well as a luncheon.
Both the national anthems of Germany and the United States were played at the beginning of the meeting. The focus of the meeting was the reading and signing of a renewal of the sister city arrangement or “Erneuerung Städtepartnerschaft” between Bay City and Ansbach.
The renewal was read in English as well as in German. The English version of the agreement was read by Bay City Manager Dana Muscott.
“Representatives of both cities are meeting today in the presence of citizens and friends of the German-American relationship to renew the partnership between Bay City and Ansbach that has been in existence for more than 60 years,” Muscott read.
“It is our endeavor to reaffirm and continue the friendship that was initiated by our predecessors in 1961 under the People-to-People Program established by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.”
In July 2022, officials from both Bay City visited Ansbach and attended a meeting where Bay City manager Dana Muscott and Ansbach Mayor Thomas Deffner signed a similar renewal agreement.
As the agreement pointed out, Bay City and Ansbach have been sister cities since 1961. While the two cities are technically in their 61st year together as sister cities, the 60th-anniversary celebration is being held this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts in 2021.
The efforts to commemorate the relationship between the two sister cities with the monument come as efforts have amped up over the years to increase the relationship between the two.
The Bay City Times previously reported that Ansbach considered cutting ties with Bay City in 2016 due to the city being considered a “quiet partner” of a sister city. Since then, groups and individuals from Bay City have been working on developing a more active relationship with Ansbach.
According to information provided by Leadership Bay County, Bay City became sister cities after the two were connected following the end of World War II. Residents from West Germany began migrating to the U.S., with some of those immigrants settling in the area around Bay City.
The sculpture helped to serve as a reflection of those ties and the connection that the two cities have begun to work on reigniting.
“At the root of it, it’s really about human connection,” said Trey Pinkstock, Bay City Commissioner and member of the Leadership Bay County Class of 2022. “And that’s what has made this project so special and it’s what makes this sister relationship so special.”
The delegation arrived Thursday and is scheduled to be in town through Monday, Sept. 19.
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