Dayton has a new sister city for the first time in 20 years, and this match was made in aviation- and military-history heaven.
Dayton City Commissioners approved legislation making the Borough of Rushmoor, is located about 35 miles southwest of London, its sixth sister city.
The borough, which consists of the towns of Aldershot and Farnborough, has about 96,000 residents and major aviation and military-history attractions.
“We’ve got a lot of common heritage,” said Hunt Brown, chair of the Rushmoor subcommittee of the Dayton Sister City Committee. “We think that this will be a relationship that will really prosper in the future.”
The Farnborough International Airshow is the second-largest air show of its kind, behind the Paris Air Show. The show is held in July every other year, alternating with Paris.
In 2016, Farnbourgh’s show led to $124 billion in sales and commitments and featured 1,500 exhibitors from around the world, demonstration flights by state-of-the-art airlines and aerobatic performances by military jets, according to Business Insider. The next show is July 20-24, 2020.
Aldershot is the home of the British Army, and Farnborough has a long history of aviation, dating back to the times of Samuel Cody, said Adrian Creek, communications officer for the Rushmoor Borough Council.
A borough is a local government administrative unit – Rushmoor Borough Council covers Aldershot and Farnborough and the communities within, Creek said.
Famous landmarks in the borough include St. Michael’s Abbey Benedictine monastery in Farnborough and the Wellington Statue in Aldershot.
Dayton and Rushmoor have a lot in common, such as their contributions to and interest in flight, Brown said.
Dayton was the home of the Wright brothers and Rushmoor was the site of the first manned flight in the United Kingdom, Brown said.
“In addition, Dayton and Rushmoor both have air shows and both have strong interests in aviation research and development,” Brown said.
This new relationship increases Dayton’s international contacts and increases opportunities for mutual educational, cultural and economic exchange, Brown said.
Dayton has five other sister cities: Augsburg, Germany; Oslo, Japan; Monrovia, Liberia; Holon, Israel; and Sarjevo, Bosnia-Herzegovinia. The most recent sister-city relationship, before Rushmoor, was Bosnia-Herzegovinia in 1999, growing out of the Dayton Peace Accords that ended the war there.
The Dayton Sister City Committee is hosting six college students between May 16 and June 2 from across Bosnia and Herzegovina. They will intern at various businesses and organizations in Dayton, including Catapult Creative, the University of Dayton Research Institute, the city of Dayton, Montgomery County, Sinclair Community College and others.
Delegates of Rushmoor will be in Dayton in late June to sign at document at the 2019 Vectren Dayton Air Show memorializing the relationship, officials said.
The city created the Dayton Sister City Committee in 1964, eight years after President Dwight Eisenhower established Sister Cities International.
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