A U.S. Army general joined a Russian army general in unveiling a large granite memorial on Saturday in the new West Jordan International Peace Park, 7800 S. 2200 West.
The ceremony was held to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Intermediate Nuclear Forces treaty, a missile reduction program. Participants were Brig. Gen. John C. Reppert and Gen. Lt. Vyacheslav A. Romanov of the Russian republic of Urdmurtia. The two also planted a Siberian pear tree as part of the ceremony.The peace park, dedicated on Wednesday, was suggested by a Russian inspection team commander as a symbol of friendship and peace between the United States and the Russian republics that signed the reduction treaty. The memorial honors the Russian Federation missile inspection team, working in West Jordan.
"We're working with our sister city, Votkinsk in the Russian republic of Urdmurtia, with the assistance of Sister Cities International, a federal corporation, and United States Information Agency to establish peace and cooperation," said Matt Fernandez, chairman of the West Jordan Sister City advisory committee.
Votkinsk is a manufacturing city of more than 100,000 people, located 350 miles east of Moscow.
"I think the physical symbol of the work that's been done is extremely important and it's a wonderful idea to celebrate the contributions made for future generations," said Reppert.
"This is a wonderful event. Such events strengthen peace and promote interaction among common people. We are already the example of good cooperation because American inspectors are working now in Votkinsk and Russian inspectors are here (at the Alliant TechSystems plant).
"Votkinsk and West Jordan are sister towns and all of it has been achieved by such events. I think that in the future, we'll have many events which will further deepen our cooperation and interaction," Romanov said, with the help of an interpreter.
Saturday's celebration was among events scheduled between the two cities in an effort to explore possibilities for economic cooperation and establishing peace and harmony.