SEOUL — U.S. military and Gangnam District officials held a tree-planting ceremony Friday to celebrate Arbor Day as part of the 8th Army’s Good Neighbor Exchange Program.

About 900 people, including 120 U.S. military members from various South Korean-based commands and a 30-person South Korean military band, gathered in Gangnam’s Dalteo Park, under the Youngdong Bridge, for the event.

Lt. Gen. Charles C. Campbell, 8th Army commander, told the crowd that spring symbolizes the beginning of a new cycle of nature. But the rebirth, he said, “takes commitment on the part of people and communities to preserve our environment and nature’s blessings.”

“This is exactly what Gangnam has accomplished. As we plant trees together, we trust that these trees will grow strong and tall … just as our good-neighbor partnership with Gangnam continues to flourish.”

Kwon Moon-young, Gangnam’s mayor, said in addition to helping make the world a little “greener,” the celebration allowed district residents to show support for the U.S. and South Korean military members.

After the speeches, the Americans and South Koreans climbed a hill to plant and water about 4,000 trees.

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