Pacific Stars and Stripes, 6 February,
By M/Sgt. Dick Bartlett
WITH THE U.S. 7TH DIV, Feb.
6 (Pac. S&S)-A time-honored ridge pole ceremony yesterday commemorated
the donation by the 7th Division of an entire school building to the
children of Pochon, Korea.
Maj. Gen. Wayne C. Smith, commanding general of
the division, and other military dignitaries were on hand for the
two-hour ceremony which included the unveiling of the bilingual signs
naming the $10,000 building the 7th Division Memorial school, built
by the citizens of Pochon in honor of the citizens of the division's
SMITH SPOKE before the gathering of colorfully
dressed school children and town citizens and said his division had
raised the funds "that the torch of liberty might be transmitted to
the halls of Pochon schools."
"Today is a very significant
day in the history of the 7th Division, a day of remembrance," he
The drive was begun among division units last
November when the 7th Division was stationed in the Pochon area. Previous
school buildings at Pochon, halfway between Seoul and Kumhwa, had
been destroyed during battle.
Before raising the ridge pole into place on the
frame structure, Smith, Kim Bup In, Korean Minister of education,
and other dignitaries knelt before a low table to receive a small
cup full of wine. They in turn poured the wine over the ridge pole.
WHEN COMPLETED, in approximately three months,
the school building will be approximately 150 feet long and completely
equipped for classes.
Following the ceremony the 7th Division officers'
mess invited those present for refreshments.
Kim Yung Kee, governor of Kyonggi-do province,
and other Korean officials presented Smith with flowers and presents
with tokens of appreciation "for the kind-heartedness of the men of
the 7th Division."