Roselle becomes sister city of Laatzen, Germany
Roselle is acknowledging its German roots as it prepares for its centennial year in 2022, by inking a pact with Laatzen, Germany, to become sister cities.
Roselle has been a sister city with Bochnia, Poland, since 2000, and officials say they would also like to find a third city in Italy.
But as the village gets closer to its 100-year anniversary, officials say joining with Laatzen is particularly meaningful because of the German immigrants who first put down stakes in Roselle more than a century ago.
"It is exciting to watch the development of a new sister city unfold as we approach our centennial celebration," Roselle Mayor David Pileski said in a statement. "The selection of Laatzen will further our connection to our early German roots as a farming community.
The Roselle Sister Cities Association German Committee and the Laatzen International Friendship Association formed a friendship pact earlier this year. Roselle's committee chose Laatzen as it is a town close in size to Roselle with a similar backstory.
"The signing of the letter of intent with Laatzen is a great moment in Roselle history," said committee Co-chairwoman Sara Bruno in a statement. "As we look forward to our centennial next year, our committee looks forward to strengthening Roselle's German roots as we develop a deeper relationship with the people of Laatzen."
Roselle was officially founded in 1922 but had German settlers in the area living among the Potawatomi people as far back as the 1830s. Roselle State Bank's first bank statement was also written in German as well, according to the DuPage County Historical Society, and the first school in the village was known as the German School.
The relationship is expected to follow the mission of Sister Cities International, which encourages greater friendship and understanding for the mutual benefit of both communities. They aim to do this through sharing cultural, social, and educational experiences and opportunities.
Laatzen is a city of about 22,000 inhabitants in central Germany, just south of Hanover in the Lower Saxony district. Like Roselle, it was a farming community in the 1800s that began transforming to an industrial base in the 20th century. As of 2019, Roselle had more than 22,000 residents as well.
Pileski said he is in awe of Roselle residents "who volunteer countless hours to initiatives like this, that deepen our cultural experiences."
Roselle officials say that they hope to meet their Laatzen counterparts sometime in the future but nothing is as yet planned.