Kure Port Festival Strengthens International Understanding

By SGT Patrick McGee
296th Army Band

News story photo
The 296th Army Band recently went on tour to the city of Kure for their annual Port Festival. This tour is an important one for the band as it serves as an opportunity for cultural outreach and bilateral cooperation between US and Japan militaries. Musically, the tour featured collaborations with the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force Kure Band, the Japanese Ground Self Defense Force 13th Brigade Band, and local high school students. Additionally, Uncle Sam’s All American Brass Band, the Pacific Brass(brass quintet), and the marching band all gave public performances.

Another enriching aspect of the trip was that Kure is located near Hiroshima. Many members of the band took advantage of this proximity and visited this famous city. Hiroshima is forever etched into public consciousness not only for its history and military significance, but also for its world famous Peace Park. Band members who visited were no doubt moved by the experience, and it is fitting that a tour dedicated to international relations and cooperation should include a visit to this historic city.

The 296th Army Band is grateful to their Japanese musical counterparts, and the city of Kure for the opportunity to participate in this festival.

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