BTS Receives James A. Van Fleet Award And Delivers Speech

BTS has been awarded for their contributions to Korea-U.S. relations!

The Korea Society hosted its annual Van Fleet Award ceremony online on October 7. The honorary General James A. Van Fleet Award was established in 1995 and is awarded to figures or organizations that have contributed to the Korea-U.S. relationship. The award is named after General James A. Van Fleet, who was a commander of the U.S. Eighth Army at the height of the Korean War in 1951. In 1957, he founded The Korea Society and served as its first president.

Among this year’s winners, BTS was credited for their music and message stirring a worldwide sensation and strengthening Korea’s relations with the United States.

The group delivered their acceptance speech virtually, and RM started off by saying, “Good evening, we are BTS. We are very honored to receive the Van Fleet award presented to those that have made outstanding contributions to the promotion of the relationship between Korea and the United States. We express our sincere gratitude to all the members of the Korea Society.”

Jin shared, “It is 7 p.m. in New York and 8 a.m. here in Seoul. We are living in different time zones and locations but are connected through music. We share our cultures and stories beyond borders and languages based on solidarity.” V continued, “We experience the amazing power of connection and solidarity in every moment of our careers. It brings changes to what seemed unlikely, and makes possible what seemed impossible. I believe this kind of power has brought BTS to become who we are today.”

J-Hope explained, “As you are all aware, we recently reached the summit of Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. Despite all the difficult times we went through since our debut seven years ago, we’ve been able to proceed without giving up thanks to people who we are connected with and joined together in solidarity.”

“It cheers us up when many people around the world, including the United States, listen to our songs and sympathize with our words and messages. This also allowed us to clearly understand what we are doing and what we should be doing moving forward,” stated Jimin, and Jungkook added, “What I have learned from touring across the world is that our thoughts are not so different even if we are in different places. The feeling of sadness, anger, and being touched is similar everywhere I go. I hope that our music plays a role as a link that allows people from all around the world to understand and respect one another.”

Suga shared, “Thankfully, a lot of people are supporting us as each and every one of them became a messenger, spreading a much bigger energy and influence. In the future, we will make sure to not lose faith in the power of connection and solidarity, and continue to create music and performances of our own.”

RM wrapped up the speech in English. He stated, “The Korea Society’s 2020 Annual Gala is especially meaningful, as this year marks the 70th anniversary of the Korean War. We will always remember the history of pain that our two nations shared together and the sacrifices of countless men and women. After 70 years, the world we are living in is much closer than before. Boundaries in many aspects are getting more blurred. As members of the global community, we should build a deeper understanding and solidarity to be happier together. In pursuit of this cause, BTS will always remind ourselves of the meaning of the Van Fleet award and keep doing our best in all that we do. Thank you very much.”

Congratulations to BTS, along with the Korean War Veterans Association and the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry for being co-recipients of the Van Fleet Award.

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