U.S. Forces Korea commander Gen. B.B. Bell donated $1,000 to rebuilding Namdaemun in downtown Seoul, USFK officials confirmed Tuesday.

Bell sent the personal check March 18 to the Hankook Ilbo newspaper, which is heading the restoration fund for South Korea’s National Treasure No. 1.

Namdaemun, also known by the formal name Sungnyemun, was set ablaze last month and burned to its stone foundation.

An elderly South Korean man confessed to setting the fire.

In a letter sent with the donation, Bell said he and his wife were deeply saddened by the national symbol’s destruction.

Namdaemun was built as one of the city’s gates in 1398 and renovated in 1962. It was the oldest wooden structure in Seoul.

Shortly after the fire, a Cultural Heritage Administration official said it would take about three years and $21 million to rebuild.

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive a daily email of today's top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign Up Now