Winter 2019
45179562 1990615287643431 4219063253805826048 nYou may have noticed the new bench that was placed at Centennial Plaza late last fall. Perhaps you have had an opportunity to read the plaque dedication; and perhaps you’ve had an opportunity to sit and take in the view.

The bench was dedicated in memory of Keiko Sakakibara of Hekinan, Japan at a ceremony on October 31, 2018. At the ceremony was Mayor Dave Earling, past Edmonds’ Mayors Gary Haakenson and Barb Fahey, City staff, Edmonds Sister City Commissioners, past Commissioners and volunteers and members of the community. Also at the ceremony was a delegation from Edmonds’ Sister City of Hekinan, Japan, which included Hekinan Mayor Masanobu Negita, Hekinan City Council Chairman Hiroshi Kutsuna, Hekinan Sister City Association President Isao Kimbara and Vice President Yoshitsugu Osada, along with Hekinan staff, volunteers and community members.

The Hekinan delegation was in Edmonds to celebrate the 30 year Sister City relationship between Edmonds and Hekinan. It’s been a very rich and rewarding relationship. Many bonds have been created between the people of Edmonds and Hekinan over the past 30 years… many of those bonds include Keiko.

Keiko was one of a delegation of three from Hekinan who traveled to Edmonds in the early 80’s to assess the possibility of Hekinan and Edmonds forming a Sister City relationship. After visiting Edmonds and two other cities on the West Coast, it was clear to the delegation that Edmonds was the best fit for Hekinan; and so the relationship was formed. Over the next 30 years Keiko provided the driving force behind this program. Sadly, Keiko died suddenly only a week before the Edmonds delegation arrived in Hekinan last April to celebrate this 30 year friendship.

The City of Edmonds and the Edmonds Sister City Commission wanted to honor the memory of this amazing and special woman and so the bench was placed, at Centennial Plaza, within view of other significant items of our 30 year Sister City friendship with Hekinan.

If you haven’t seen the bench, or read the plaque, or sat for a spell, we encourage you to do so, and while you are there please take a few moments to recognize Edmonds’ very special friend – Keiko Sakakibara.