Division recognizes contributions of Asian Americans
May 20, 2009
Soldiers who serve in the 2nd Infantry Division work toward the completion of their missions on the Korean peninsula. Not every Soldier comes from the same place or looks alike. Soldiers are different in personal qualities even as they share a common mission and vision. In recognition of one proud and prominent group of Soldiers and Americans, the division held an Asian Pacific American Heritage Month celebration May 15 at the Commanding General's Mess on Camp Red Cloud.
The event showed the best of the heritage with unique events designed to highlight Asian cultures.
There were Korean and Filipino songs performed to the delight of the crowd. The Gyeonggi Province Office II performed a traditional Korean Samulnori. Samulnori is broken down into two parts. "Samul" means four objects and "nori" means play.
The Samulnori has it roots in nong-ak, a Korean folk genre comprised of music, acrobatics, folk dances and rituals. It was traditionally performed in rice-farming villages to ensure and celebrate good harvests.
The theme of the event was "Leadership to Meet the Challenges of a Changing World." The guest speaker, Lt. Col. Daniel Berdine, deputy intelligence officer, 8th U.S. Army, embodied the event's sentiment. Berdine discussed his views on leadership in today's Army.
"The Army has changed from the good old days," said Berdine. "It has changed, not just in uniform, but in the way we fight and organize."
Berdine, who is half Japanese, discussed the accomplishments of Asian Pacific Americans and Asians in the Army.
"Asian Pacific Americans are an integral part of the Army," he said. "Our (Korean) brothers served with the (United States and Republic of Korea) Army for 50 years. From Korea to Iraq, to Afghanistan, Asians serve and keep fighting."
To close his remarks, Berdine said one thing stands true for Soldiers of all races, religions and creeds - a national identity.
"I am a Japanese American, but I am an American," Berdine said.