Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Promotion to Captain!

Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea
Today is my promotion ceremony to the rank of Captain. I was given the choice of where to hold the ceremony. For the last year, I would pass this one particular tree on the golf course, and it just seemed right to incorporate it. The tree's roots date back to about 1270 A.D. It has seen the rise and fall of nations. It has seen countless wars and conflicts. In fact, the Enheng-jungui Ginkgo Tree located on Osan's golf course was declared a registered local landmark by the city of Songtan in 1994.
I think the tree will be there long after the bunker crumbles.
Trees such as this are an important piece of traditional Korean culture and have often been a focal point of village life. According to tradition, most villages had some type of tree, which was often thought to influence the prosperity, fertility, health and fortune of the village.
November in Korea isn't exactly the warmest time of year.
Korean history also shows that people hold many of the large old trees in high regard due to much of the deforestation that occurred during the Korean War. A tree that has lived more than seven centuries carries a lot of history in its branches and should be treated with respect.




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