YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea - A ceremony was held here June 30 to honor Republic of Korea Army Gen. Lee Sang-eui, the outgoing the ROK Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The guests included many of the senior leaders who served with Lee in the ROK-U.S. Alliance.

Gen. Walter L. Sharp, commander of United Nations Command, Combined Forces Command and U.S. Forces Korea, presented a "Katchi Kapsida" statue to honor Lee's leadership in maintaining security in Korea and his efforts to strengthen the ROK-U.S. Alliance.

"Your 36 years of distinguished service has strengthened the ROK-U.S. Alliance and the ROK military," said Sharp. "I thank you for a lifetime of contribution to the defense of the great nation of Korea and for all the work you did on behalf of the alliance."

"Our door is always open and we expect to see you both to share pass accomplishments and to talk about the future of the alliance," said Sharp.

Lee expressed his gratitude to Sharp for hosting the ceremony and he thanked everyone who participated in the ceremony.

"Today's ceremony symbolizes the honest desire of all of our wishes for the ROK-U.S. Alliance to grow ever stronger," said Lee. "Although I close out nearly 40 years of honorable active duty service to my nation, I can tell you that I'll never stop being a supporter of this special alliance."

"We have fought together in the past. We are in a fight together now and we will continue to fight alongside one another. As we stand united, we will march toward the future together," said Lee.