MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Veterans Day is Friday, a grand opportunity to celebrate and thank the nation's servicemen and women for their sacrifices.
Numerous events are dedicated to the all those who have fought courageously for freedom. Many veterans said they would like to see more people participate.
For Vietnam veteran Felix Costa, he said the memories and sacrifices still echo in his mind.
"My first tour, I came back I got spit at," Costa said emotionally. "I got called a 'baby killer' and I kissed the ground and thanked the Lord that I got home safe, because for 12 months we didn't know if were going to wake up safe."
For Veterans Day, Costa and thousands of veterans like him will be honored for their bravery and service.
"I'm going to go to my grandson's school," he said of his Friday plans. "They always have a program going on with the veterans."
In North Myrtle Beach, a ceremony to honor veterans will take place at Veterans Plaza on Friday starting at 11 a.m. It will begin with a motorcycle ride by Legion and Rolling Thunder. There will also be a presentation of wreaths and opening remarks will come from Commander Jerry Groenke. The guest speaker will be South Carolina Sen. Greg Hembree. Lunch will also be served.
In Florence, the Veterans Day ceremony will begin at 11 a.m., on Friday. Several new monuments, a sculpture and a new panel on the Wall of Honor will be unveiled at Florence Veterans Park.
The city of Myrtle Beach will take great pride in recognizing veterans at their ceremony scheduled for 11 a.m.. Friday. Veterans and active military will join together on the plaza at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center, where parking will be free for the event.
A special tribute for the veterans at Carolina Gardens Assisted Living Facility will begin at 2 p.m., at 2310 U.S. 378 in Conway.
The Bright Water Independent Living Retirement Community will honor more than 25 veterans living at the facility during a special tribute and pin ceremony that begins at 11 a.m., on Friday.
Also, all veterans and active military can ride for free on Coast RTA for Veterans Day. This applies for fixed routes in Horry and Georgetown counties.
John Steppling, a Myrtle Beach veteran, said he plans to take advantage of the free food being offered to veterans.
"I think I will find a couple of vets to have breakfast at maybe Denny's and then we might go to lunch," he said.
Olive Garden will offer a free entrée from a special menu to both active-duty military and veterans.
Longhorn Steakhouse will offer a free appetizer or dessert and 10 percent off for guests that dine with veterans.
Bonefish Grill will offer its signature dish, bang bang shrimp, for free, while Buffalo Wild Wings will give all veterans an order of 10 to 12 wings.
These are just a few of the dozens of restaurants that will honor veterans and let them know they are not forgotten.
Also on Monday, Nov. 14, Golden Corral will offer a free buffet to all veterans from 5 to 9 p.m.