By Jessica Ryan and Christophe Morel, USAG Benelux Public AffairsJune 22, 2018
CHIÈVRES, Belgium -- The city of Chièvres invited their American neighborsto the fourth annual American Festival June 16 and 17 near the St. Jean Chapel.
The event brought Americans and Belgians together as they experienced American culture in the local town. This year, the re-enactment camp was World War I-themed in commemoration of its centennial.
Discover all the photos of the event on the USAG Benelux Flickr.
MAN ON THE STREET
The American Festival was the meeting of people from different backgrounds, a perfect occasion for all the participants to learn new things about each other. We asked five people what they thought about the event.
Air Force Maj. Tim O'Rourke
424th Air Base Squadron
"We are here to engage with the local community. We like to come out here and show our support to the Chièvres community and the Belgians that we work with. We are trying to give the Belgian community a taste of America today. We are selling hamburgers, hotdogs, chips and drinks. It's an opportunity for them to get a small sample of the American lifestyle."
Army Capt. Christina Regule
"I'm here to see how the local community is doing booths for an American experience. It's neat to see their interpretation of our foods. Whenever they commemorate the war effort, I like to see the people wearing the World War I uniforms. I also like hearing the swing music from World War II, because that is from my father's generation. It's Father's Day [in the U.S.], and I wanted to experience my father's favorite music today."
"In our association, we are all children of veterans. One of my grandfathers had been a prisoner at Dunkirk, the other at Béthune. Saturday night, we spoke with young American Soldiers. It was very interesting. It's important for us to participate to this kind of event. It is a duty of memory."
"I am a re-enactor for 30 years now. I did my military service when I was 20. I love military vehicles. We have a great time during this festival. The most important thing for us is that people leave here having learned something."
Petty Officer First Class Shannon Smith
SHAPE Public Affairs
"It is an honor to be a part of this community event. The community is thanking us, but we are thanking them as well. If we can do cultural connections through food and through meeting people, that's what we want to show the community. The community has always been also helpful and beneficial to all the service members stationed here."