Korean elementary school children tour Yongsan Garrison
May 13, 2008
<b>YONGSAN GARRISON, Republic of Korea</b> - The garrison hosted 26 Korean elementary school students as part of Korean Children's Day activities, treating them to an installation tour and meeting American Soldiers.
This tour was part of U.S. Forces Korea Good Neighbor Program events planned around the May 5 Children's Day, said An Chang-sin, U.S. Army Garrison-Yongsan community relations officer.
"I received a request for an opportunity for them to learn about American society and culture," An said. "I thought it would be a great chance for us, too, that we can have a better understanding about our good neighbors."
The Kal-san elementary students from Yangchun-gu, accompanied with their parents, spent the day after Children's Day, May 6, getting an up-close look at life on Yongsan. They first visited the Yongsan Fire Station, where firefighters and fire inspectors explained how to stay safe from fire.
The children practiced an evacuation exercise as artificial smoke filled the hall outside the classroom. "We had to crawl on the floor to get out of the hallway," said Park Je-kwan, a fourth grader.
The group then toured the William F. Dean Heritage Center where historian Karl Swanson described the major events of the Korean War.
"On the wall," Swanson said to the students, "you can see the photos of war heroes who earned the Medal of Honor, which is the highest medal a Soldier can achieve."
Finally, the children were treated to a tour of American Forces Network-Korea studios, where they recorded their voices in the radio studios and watched themselves jumping and laugh on a TV screen.
"It was my first time to see many foreigners," said Park Gi-rang, a sixth grader. "It was really a lot of fun to watch everything in here."
"I also never knew that there were so many facilities like hospital and restaurants in the Garrison," said Kim Jung-yun, a parent and a volunteer from Seoul's HaYeJi volunteer organization. "Although they may be too young to understand, I believe that it was a good opportunity for them to learn American culture and what American Soldiers do in Korea."