Korean American Friendship Festival strengthens bonds

OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea --  Koreans and Americans share their cultures with one another to strengthen the ever-increasing bond as neighbors during the 11th Korean American Friendship Cultural Festival in the Songtan Entertainment District, Republic of Korea, Oct. 25 and 26.

The two-day festival was hosted by the Songtan Chamber of Commerce and celebrates the friendship between the ROK and the United States.

Live musical, dance and martial arts performances were featured throughout the event. It was a family friendly event that provided food, games, rides and culture for people to enjoy.

Col. Brook Leonard, 51st Fighter Wing commander, spoke during the opening ceremony and shared in the Korean American friendship.

"It truly is a wonderful night to celebrate our friendship," said Leonard. "On this beautiful night, we celebrate a beautiful relationship. And I thank you for a wonderful opportunity to celebrate in this friendship festival which reflects that beauty."

Leonard cherishes the friendship the U.S and ROK share.

"It is friendships just like this all across South Korea that form the cornerstone for the U.S. and ROK alliance," he said. "It is a great alliance because even though we do not share a common border or a common language, we share a common passion for freedom and democracy.

"Our families have grown up here together, but more importantly we have grown our families together. So as we walk around and see Americans and Koreans celebrating together, let us remember that the Osan, Songtan, and Pyeongtaek cities are one family."