By Sgt. 1st Class Jeff Troth
CAMP RED CLOUD SOUTH KOREA -- Warrior Country and its local Korean neighbors hailed the Army's 237th birthday with a big outdoor party at Camp Red Cloud that featured live music and other entertainment, hamburgers, hot dogs and birthday cake for all.
The June 14 event at Camp Red Cloud's Village Green drew several hundred from the off-post Korean community alone, along with hundreds more from the Area I military community, organizers said.
"Events like this remind us how fortunate we are for the opportunity to live and work alongside the great people of Korea," said Maj. Gen. Edward C. Cardon, 2nd Infantry Division commander. "We are proud to be a part of this community and the best way for us to get to know one another better is to enjoy great events like this together."
The evening kicked off with a taekwondo demonstration by the 2ID Taekwondo team. The U.S. and South Korean Soldiers showed their mastery of Korea's oldest martial art to those gathered on the Green.
After the team's big finale, speakers talked about origins of the Army and the friendship forged over the years between Americans and Koreans.
"The Second Continental Congress founded the U.S. Army in 1775 to fight for independence," said Maj. Gen. Oh Jeong-il, commander of the South Korean army's 28th Infantry Division.
"And for the last 237 years it has been famous as the Guardian of Freedom and world peace," he said. "The will of the U.S Army to secure freedom is what has won countries, battles and wars."
"Because of your sacrifice and efforts," said Dongducheon Mayor Oh Se-chang, "not only could we overcome the harsh and damages of the Korean War, but also make South Korea what it is today. We can dream of a better Korea of peace and harmony."
After the speeches, Cardon led a group of Soldiers and civilians, including the Dongducheon and Uijeongbu mayors, in cutting a birthday cake.
While eating the cake and barbecue prepared by post organizations, those at the Village Green were entertained by music from a band made up of musicians from both the 2ID and the 28th Infantry Division.
Earlier in the day, Army Birthday cake was also served up on other Area I installations.
The Camp Red Cloud commissary and Camp Casey's Gateway Club served free cake to customers in observance of the Army's birthday.
At the Camp Casey Child Development Center, Lt. Col. Shayne Mullins, deputy commander of the 210th Fires Brigade, was joined by other Soldiers in cutting a cake, after which he read aloud to a roomful of children the book "Sam the Army Dog."
The day's events concluded at Camp Red Cloud with a performance on the Village Green by Korean singer and actress, Jin Mi-ryeong.