Norwood wants sister city signage

Published 11:55 am Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Norwood Mayor Harold Thompson and Interim Town Administrator Ray Allen are planning to contact N.C. Department of Transportation to create markers signifying the relationship between the town and its sister city of Jouarre, France.

The markers will be stationed along the major roads coming into the town.

The friendship between the two cities started in 2015, when Jouarre recognized fallen World War II airman 1st Lt. James Paul Lowder Jr., a Norwood resident, with the unveiling of public markers in the village cemetery. Lowder crashed his P-51 Mustang airplane in a wooded area near Jouarre in July 1944.

The pilot, whose identity was unknown to the French, died and was buried in an American cemetery in northeastern France. It wasn’t until late in 2014 that a small group of Jouarre war veterans discovered the pilot’s identity, according to published reports.

Jouarre is a French farming community of around 4,000 residents 50 miles east of Paris.

On March 5, 2018, members of the Operation Mustang travel group, along with Bob Hooks, commander of the Norwood VFW, approved being an official sister city with Jouarre.

Later, Les Young, a member of Operation Mustang, along with the town manager at the time, John Mullis, sent to Jouarre a proclamation the town created. Norwood is still waiting to hear back from the French town regarding any suggestions it would like to make to the proclamation, Young told the Norwood town council during its meeting Monday.

Young hopes to hear from Jouarre sometime this month.

Young said he hopes the Jouarre mayor and others can come to Norwood to help set up the markers.

Many Norwood residents traveled to Jouarre a few years ago for a ceremony honoring Lowder.

About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with the SNAP since January 2019. He is a graduate of NC State and received his Master's in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for the Capital News Service in Annapolis, where many of his stories on immigration and culture were published in national papers via the AP wire.

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