Blaine’ssister city decision draws near

Published on Thu, Mar 9, 2006 by Richard Clark

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Blaine’s sister city decision draws near

By Richard Clark

It took only two numbers separated by a slash to symbolize the day America entered its dark night of the soul. 9/11. My country has been thrust into a tragic dilemma, and in ways impossible to summarize in a local newspaper article. Suffice it to say the cause of world peace has hardly been of greater concern since December 7, 1941.

Before Blaine lies a golden opportunity to promote world peace. I can think of no other community in the United States holding an opportunity so unusual. More than an opportunity, I consider it a calling. It’s based uniquely upon a combination of history, demography, local facilities, a village in Canada, and a rare monument called the International Peace Arch.

Our opportunity begins with a future decision – one that is yours as well as mine. It starts with our community adopting a sister city called Pugwash in Nova Scotia. It entails a question: Do we wish to associate the Peace Arch city with a community that has been promoting world peace for 50 years? The extreme importance of this question I cannot successfully put into words.

Our decision will depend upon what occurs at Blaine’s city hall Thursday evening, March 16, at 7 p.m. City manager Gary Tomsic called the meeting, and our participation will count for every inch of the way. I beg your attendance.

This opportunity I find deeply moving, therefore I have asked Pugwash representative Dr. Jeffrey Boutwell, based at Washington, D.C., to comment via email:

“From its first meeting of nuclear physicists in July 1957 in the small fishing village of Pugwash, Nova Scotia, to being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1995, the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs have remained committed to its twin goals of eliminating nuclear weapons and reducing the risk of conflict that could lead to their use,” he said. “With representation in more than 50 countries around the world, the Pugwash Conferences rely on behind-the-scenes meetings with government leaders and policymakers to seek novel approaches to issues of regional security and stability. At the same time, however, Pugwash recognizes the need to increase public awareness of the continuing dangers posed by nuclear weapons to all of humanity.

“For that reason, we are delighted at the prospect of a sister city relationship being formed between Blaine, Washington (the home of the International Peace Arch) and Pugwash, Nova Scotia (the home of Thinker’s Lodge, site of so many important international conferences). In the years to come, I would hope that these two towns could work together to heighten awareness, not only in Canada and the United States, but globally, of the critical need for ‘new thinking’ when it comes to issues of nuclear weapons and international security.”

Dr. Boutwell’s message, I sincerely hope, will encourage Blaine citizens to respond enthusiastically to the sister city concept. The decision rests with the community, and I truly hope many residents will attend the crucial meeting scheduled for March 16, 7 p.m., at Blaine city hall.