Soldiers plant trees, friendship
YONGSAN-GU, Republic of Korea -- To commemorate the Korean national holiday of Arbor Day, and promote friendship between Korea and the United States, soldiers from U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan visited Singye Historic Park and planted trees with their good neighbors, Yongsan-gu, April 5.
Since Arbor Day was designated a holiday in 1949, Korean Nationals have planted trees and shrubs each year on April 5, to promote a green environment and to underscore the importance of nurturing nature.
This year, approximately 50 soldiers from Headquarters and Headquarters Company U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan, 618th Dental Company and 106th Medical Detachment participated and celebrated this by planting trees for the local community.
"Today's occasion should not be seen as just an ordinary tree planting, but rather as an annual event and a way of reminding us to be more conscious of the need to protect our environment," said Col. Michael E. Masley, garrison commander for USAG Yongsan. "It is also about strengthening our great alliance. So I thank you for supporting this great alliance, and for being here as we dedicate these trees as a reminder to us of our friendship for many years to come."
U.S. Soldiers and the Yongsan-gu office team composed of the mayor, director of urban management and employees of the Park & Landscape management department, met at Singye historic park near Sinyongsan subway station.
After a brief explanation about how to plant trees properly, soldiers and Korean nationals picked up shovels and began planting trees together.
"I would like to thank Col. Michael E. Masley and U.S. soldiers for taking time out of your busy schedules to attend the Yongsan Arbor Day event at Singye Historic Park where Spring is in bloom," said Sung Jang-hyun, mayor of Yongsan-gu. "The trees we plant together at Singye historic park will grow beautifully and spread strong roots. Like these trees, I hope our mutual relationship will grow stronger."
The gardening team dug holes, planted 13 persimmon trees and dozens of shrubs, and watered them. Many people who were strolling through the park stopped and watched the beautification process.
"It feels good to be out here planting trees along with our Korean good neighbors," said Spc. Doremus D. Thomas, Orderly room specialist for Headquarters and Headquarters Company U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan. "Through the event like this, we would like to show Korean people that we are stationed here in Korea not just to defend, but also to learn from each other and help each other. It will not only make our environment greener, but it will also strengthen our friendship."