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Neosho, MO 64850
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The original item was published from 7/3/2008 3:29:11 PM to 7/10/2008 12:00:11 AM.


Posted on: July 3, 2008

[ARCHIVED] Neosho’s Growing Multicultural Landscape and Spirit of Community Friendship Highlighted In Establish

The spirit of goodwill and friendship that characterizes the people of Neosho has contributed to the increasing multicultural landscape of the City of Neosho. The growing community of the Pacific islanders of Micronesia, particularly from the islands of Pohnpei, is a significant addition to Neosho’s cultural diversity.

Neosho’s appreciation of multicultural diversity and humanitarian spirit with a strong sense of community will be formally acknowledged, with the exchange of Special Note of Friendship between the City of Neosho and the State of Pohnpei, one of the four states that make up the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). The essence of the exchange of Special Note of Friendship is the establishment of Sister-City Relationship between Neosho and Pohnpei.

The Special Note of Friendship will be signed by, and exchanged between, the Honorable Howard Birdsong, Mayor of Neosho, and the Honorable John Ehsa, Governor of Pohnpei. The signing ceremonies will take place July 8, 2008 at 1:30 pm; at the Lampo Building located at 500 E. Spring Street, Neosho, Missouri.

The signing will be witnessed by officials of the City of Neosho and the State of Pohnpei. The members of the Pohnpei community residing in Neosho will also join the ceremonies; they would like to add special significance to the occasion by celebrating it in Micronesian tradition.

The establishment of Sister-City Relationship between Neosho and Pohnpei is supported by the Embassy of the Federated States of Micronesia in Washington DC as part of its ongoing mission to nurture and further strengthen the friendly relations between the American and Micronesian people. In fact, the idea of the sister-city relationship was conceived of in a meeting last year between the Mayor and that the Deputy Ambassador of the FSM to the United States, James Naich. Mr. Naich made the visit to attend the memorial service for three Micronesians who were killed in a tragic gunshot and to meet with FSM citizens in the area and community leaders as part of the conciliation efforts.

From after the Second World War to 1979, the FSM was among the Pacific islands that were formerly administered by the US. The FSM has become an independent country, but maintains a special relationship with the United States in a treaty called the “Compact of Free Association.” Under this treaty, the US allows citizens of the FSM to enter the US without visa and to establish residence for the purpose of employment and going to school without having to meet the requirements for other non-US citizens.

The idea of a sister-city relationship is a response to the Mayor’s desire to reach out to the Micronesians in Neosho, to help their families transition comfortably in their new community, to make them feel that they are truly a part of the community, and to recognize their contribution to the City of Neosho. For his part, the Governor of Pohnpei would like to reciprocate by recognizing the support and friendship that the people and leaders of Neosho have generously extended to the Pohnpeians residing in Neosho.

The establishment of Sister-City Relationship thus recognizes the existence of the Pohnpeian community in Neosho as one bridge of friendship in the relationship. They are an important element in further cultivating and strengthening the newly established relations between the City of Neosho and the State of Pohnpei.

A formal program of the signing ceremonies will soon be released. It is anticipated that Mayor Birdsong and Governor Ehsa will lay out their vision for the sister-city relationship and will discuss ideas on how the relationship may be further nurtured and strengthened. Citizens are encouraged to attend and show their support.

For more information, please contact City Clerk Audrey Covey at 417-451-8050 or acovey@neoshomo.org.

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