NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Dozens gathered together to celebrate the holiday by marching on North Myrtle Beach and soon after, watching the fighter jets take flight.
The American Pride March began earlier this morning. Volunteers started their march from both the north and south ends of the beach around 11 o'clock this morning. The march ended at the horseshoe on Main Street just in time for the annual flyover known as "Salute from the Shore."
Volunteers of the march varied anywhere from those who used to serve to their wives and even children.
Doug Blaney, who has marched for his third year in a row now, said it's a powerful day to celebrate. "I believe in this. This is something I've always believed in. That's why I was in the service and that's why I'm part of the legion," he said.
Blaney served in the Air Force and said that is why the flyover has such an impact on him. "For me, that's a special feeling because I was in the Air Force, so to see those fighters come by, it just is a heartwarming thing," Blaney said, "It's the sound of freedom."
A husband and wife who volunteered today said it was their first time marching together in the parade. "[Mike] was very proud to carry the flag and I was very happy to be behind him and it was just very rewarding. I don't know how to explain it," said Claudia Beaty, a first-time marcher.
"We're so lucky to be able to live in this country and we're free," she said.
Mike Beaty is a veteran himself, having served in the Navy. This is his second year marching on the beach. "It's exhilarating because you get the opportunity to represent your country for a half a mile and that's a terrific thing," he said.
After marching for the first time Claudia said it was an emotional experience. "I had to fight tears in the beginning as people were standing up and cheering and saluting and putting their hand over their heart," she said.
If you're interested in volunteering for the American Pride March next year, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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