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Vandenberg to host Cultural Heritage Day

Cultural Heritage Day takes place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 14 at the Pacific Coast Club here. (U.S. Air Force graphic / Carolyn Lander)

Cultural Heritage Day takes place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 14 at the Pacific Coast Club here. (U.S. Air Force graphic / Carolyn Lander)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Vandenberg will host Cultural Heritage Day from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 14 at the Pacific Coast Club here. 

The annual event features a free multicultural lunch buffet, as well as multicultural entertainment, and is open to all of Team V, including families. 

There are plenty of firsts this year, including performances by a Danish band from Solvang, an African-American modern dance group, as well as a Native American choral group from the Chumash tribe. 

One of Vandenberg's own will perform as well - Capt. Rasul Alsalih from the 30th Civil Engineer Squadron. Captain Alsalih, who was born in Iraq, will perform Middle Eastern music on the oud, which is a pear-shaped stringed instrument. 

A wide variety of food from around the world will also be served. Mexican, Danish, Middle Eastern and British cuisines are just a few of those that will be available. 

Now in its second year, Cultural Heritage Day consolidates all cultural recognition celebrations into one. This gives visitors a chance to learn about the diverse ethnicities of Airmen, and maybe a little bit about themselves, said Capt. Peter Lucero, the Cultural Heritage Day committee chairman. 

"Our theme here is education," Captain Lucero said. "We want to educate everyone on perhaps a new group of cultures that they may not understand." 

Understanding each other's cultural differences breaks down barriers and helps people work better together, he said. This not only creates a better working environment, it also creates a better Air Force. 

While taking a day to recognize the diversity of today's Air Force is a great way to get educated, people should always respect and appreciate their fellow Airmen. 

"Every day should be a cultural appreciation day," Captain Lucero said.