SEOUL — Eighth Army and Gangnam District officials will hold a ceremony at 11 a.m. April 1 to honor the relationship between Americans and Koreans by planting 1,000 trees at Daemo Mountain.

The area will contain a plaque commemorating the relationship and honoring U.S. servicemembers once assigned to South Korea who have died in Iraq. A portion of the park will not be renamed after the U.S. military, as previously reported.

Gangnam District, which sits south of the Han River, has become one of Seoul’s wealthiest areas in recent years. It’s home to the Coex Mall, the Apgujeong neighborhood and shopping district and the headquarters for some of South Korea’s largest companies, such as Samsung.

The Gangnam government has helped introduce U.S. soldiers to Lunar New Year traditions and in late April, the 8th Army Band is planning a concert at Daemo Mountain.

The tree-planting idea came about through a new alliance between Gangnam Mayor Kwon Moon-yong and 8th Army commander Lt. Gen. Charles Campbell, said Maj. Iris Cowher, who heads the Good Neighbor Program for 8th Army. The two men signed a “memorandum of understanding” late last year, a pledge to work together on community projects and to help persons from their two nations exchange cultural experiences.

Korea’s Arbor Day is April 5 and typically is observed with more reverence than Arbor Day in America, though the government announced last week it was moving to eliminate it as an official holiday.

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