NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - A parade of flag marchers, veterans, and families gathered to celebrate together on the beach.
The 10th Annual American Pride March ended at the Horseshoe in North Myrtle Beach for a flag processional and the Salute from the Shore Flyover. The event is sponsored by the American Legion 186 Little River.
People marched four miles from the north end and south end to meet in the middle where hundreds of people welcome them with more than 100 American flags. The feelings of independence and unity were in the air.
"I thank God for my freedom, and I thank USA for my freedom," said Ray Collins, a Vietnam veteran, one of many in the crowd of people. "Not only do I have children but I have grandchildren and to know my grandchildren can play and laugh and have a good time in a free country makes me feel kind of awesome."
Brigadier General Laura Lenderman led the flag processional from the sand on to Main Street. She is the 5th Commander of the 502nd Air Base Wing in San Antonio, Texas.
"It's amazing," said Lenderman. "I work with military members every day, and we honor our flag in big ways and small ways living on an Air Force base, but to come out in the community and see the pride in every single members' eyes who volunteer to hold our flag and the young people who are passionate...it's just incredible."
North Myrtle Beach is a special place for her and her family.
"My husband and I have been serving together for 24 years. He is an Air Force Colonel," Lenderman said. "He recently retired two days ago, and so we came here to celebrate. Its been a part of our family history. His father was also an Air Force officer as well as my own, so we've come together as a family to continue in the family business."