Veterans gather at Myrtle Beach’s Warbird Park to honor fallen soldiers

Published: Nov. 11, 2022 at 10:37 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 12, 2022 at 12:02 PM EST
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) -- The City of Myrtle Beach shares a connection with Veterans serving as a home to the Air Force until the base closed in 1993.

The site of the base is now known as the Market Common where the history of the base is still very much alive.

As you make your way into the Market Common off Highway 17 you’ll notice large military aircrafts on display in Warbird Park which at one time were fully operational here on the Air Force Base.

Behind the aircraft sit a number of military memorials not just honoring the Air Force but every branch of the military.

Several groups held Veterans Day services at the park honoring those who are no longer with us while reminiscing with those who served and are still here today.

The Military Officers Association, Grand Strand Chapter was one of several military veteran organizations who gathered here in Warbird Park which honors all branches of the military.

“Myrtle Beach and the Grand Strand area are very veteran friendly you can’t say that about all areas of the country, but there are a lot of veterans in this area,” said James Albert.

Bernie Callaway served in the Navy for nearly 30 years he says as years pass the number of veterans at these services continues to decrease either from their passing or they’re no longer able to travel.

While the number of people joining the military is down compared to when his generation was called upon he considers it a great honor to be a veteran and remember those he served alongside.

“It’s a unique fellowship and I would not miss the opportunity to be here today with some friends and fellow officers it’s a great experience and I love doing it every year,” said Callaway.

From memorial walls to historical plaques the history of the former Myrtle Beach Air Force Base is well preserved and remembered all over the Market Common

Michael Mozeleski is a retired Air Force pilot and said South Carolina is one of those states that truly treats their veterans well after their military service.

“The military has done really well here I started my career in Charleston so South Carolina it’s been a really good place for the military,” said Mozeleski.

While some of these veterans were drafted and didn’t have a choice about joining the military almost all say they’d do it again.

“Freedom doesn’t come free you have to step up if you want to be free,” said Tom McElligott.

A lesson 15-year-old Frankie Dimaio has learned firsthand watching his cousins and older sister join the army at West Point.

“It means so much these people are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for the country,” said Dimaio.

If you’re a fan of military history make your way over here to the Market Common and Warbird Park.

There are plaques commemorating the Air Force Base everywhere and the park is free to the public year-round in Myrtle Beach.