By Sgt. Raquel Villalona, 2ID/RUCDOctober 16, 2018
UIJEONGBU, Republic of Korea -- At the wake of relocation efforts, the Warriors took a brief recess to reminisce the rich history they have shared with the City of Uijeongbu since the end of the Korean War.
Members of the 2nd Infantry Division/ROK-U.S. Combined Division attended the Uijeongbu City Friendship and Respect Concert commemorating the long-standing partnership at the Arts Center Oct. 15.
More than 200 local citizens, ROK and U.S. Soldiers and family members attended the event where they were greeted by art depicting 2ID in Uijeongbu since 1965, resonating the evening's theme, "we are lasting friends."
Guest speaker, Maj. Gen. D. Scott McKean, San Jose, California native, and 2ID/RUCD commanding general, recalled arriving to Camp Red Cloud for the first time as a young officer.
"Our relationship has grown over the years," said McKean. "I was fortunate in 1995 to come to the City of Uijeongbu to start this relationship that continues today."
Uijeongbu Mayor Ahn, Byung-Yong presented a plaque of appreciation to Maj. Gen. D. Scott McKean, commanding general, 2ID/RUCD, on behalf of the local citizens for his devotion to freedom in Korea.
"Looking back on Uijeongbu history, your elder Soldiers fought with us when Korea was in danger during the Korean War to protect peace and freedom," said Ahn. "Today's concert prepared at the time of 2ID's relocation, is for remembering the history of friendship and peace with 2ID, and as a token of gratitude and respect on 2ID's farewell."
The concert presented a fusion of local, cultural and contemporary performances, and featured artists such as Tiger JK and Yoon Mi-Rae.
Yoon Mi-Rae, a native of Fort Hood, Texas, and K-Pop music artist, recalled being raised in Uijeongbu while her father was in the service.
"I felt very comfortable growing up on Camp Red Cloud," said Yoon. "As someone who is half Korean and half African American, the diversity on the base helped me find my identity."
The festive occasion marked the close of one chapter in history and the start of a new one for both the Warrior Division and Uijeongbu City. The storied division is in transition to a new headquarters building 60 miles south in Pyeongtaek, while Uijeongbu ventures into expanding their businesses.
In his remarks, McKean extended gratitude to Mayor Ahn and the citizens of Uijeongbu "for taking care of our 2ID Soldiers for the past 53 years of our stay in Uijeongbu."
"Soldiers come to Korea to do their duty, to stand by and keep readiness, to secure the Korean Peninsula with our great ROK-U.S. alliance," said McKean. "We are so grateful for everything that citizens of Uijeongbu have shown us and we will never forget them as we will always cherish the memories that we've shared together."