The Grand Strand has a long, proud history of honoring America's military service men and women. The former Myrtle Beach Air Force Base hosted thousands of troops between World War II and its closure in 1994, and holidays like Memorial Day and Veterans Day are greeted with parades and other celebrations, giving military members a great place to relax and enjoy the freedoms they helped our nation preserve.
Such is the case for Veterans Day 2014, which falls on Tuesday, Nov. 11, but will be observed Monday and throughout the week on the Grand Strand. Numerous events and festivities are scheduled for the holiday that was founded to commemorate the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I but is today a tribute to all those who served. If you are planning to be in Myrtle Beach this Veteran's Day, you can celebrate the day by honoring veterans at a variety of special, planned events that are taking place in the area. Here's three Veterans Day events on the Grand Strand:
Battleship North Carolina Half-Marathon and 5K: On Sunday, Nov. 2, this 16th annual event honor veterans with a fitness event aboard one of the most decorated naval ships in U.S. history. Located in the port city of Wilmington, NC, just 60 miles north of Myrtle Beach, the retired battleship sits permanently moored in the Cape Fear River and is open for guests to explore this World War II era mammoth. But the ship is used as the start/finish line on race day as thousands complete the 13.1-mile and 3.1-mile layouts. A huge post-race party is held aboard the ship with live music, food and drinks, and tours of the museum. You don't have to run to take part in the fun and to honor America's heroes.
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Golf Classic: From Nov. 2 to 7, this 15th annual tournament attracts more than 1,000 law enforcement officers from all over the nation to play golf on some of the Grand Strand's grandest courses and raise money for veterans programs. More than 1,000 golfers tee it up on seven different courses and pay tribute to those who served both home and abroad. This year's participating courses include The Legends' Heathland, Moorland and Parkland courses, Heritage Plantation, Oyster Bay, Tidewater and World Tour. Post-round parties are held throughout the week for good food and fellowship. This group recently donated a beam from the World Trade Center to the city of Myrtle Beach to use as a remembrance of 9/11.
Veterans Day Ceremony: On Monday, Nov. 10, the city of Myrtle Beach holds its official observance of Veterans Day with a special ceremony put on by the Grand Strand Patriotic Alliance, a group of local military related organizations. The event will be held at the outdoor plaza in front of the Myrtle Beach Convention Center, which features flag poles and a reflecting pool and serves as the perfect backdrop for bands and speakers. This year's special guest speaker is Medal of Honor recipient Major General James Livingston. The event is free and the public is invited to join in the ceremony.
Warbird Park: Although no official event is scheduled, this display of the airplanes that were housed at the former Myrtle Beach Air Force Base is open to the public to get up close to some of the historic flying machines of yesteryear. Located near Market Common, this is a great place for a photo op and to pay tribute to veterans.
(Photo Courtesy: myrtlebeachonline.com)