Shaw, Sumter celebrate veterans

A flag rests in a memorial wreath during a Veterans Day Celebration ceremony in Sumter, South Carolina, Nov. 11, 2017.

A flag rests in a memorial wreath during a Veterans Day Celebration ceremony in Sumter, South Carolina, Nov. 11, 2017. During the ceremony, attendees paid tribute to prisoners of war and individuals missing in action, and honored the sacrifices of veterans who lost their lives. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kathryn R.C. Reaves)

U.S. Air Force Col. Daniel Lasica, 20th Fighter Wing commander, left, shakes the hand of a veteran during a Veterans Day Celebration parade in Sumter, South Carolina, Nov. 11, 2017.

U.S. Air Force Col. Daniel Lasica, 20th Fighter Wing commander, left, shakes the hand of a veteran during a Veterans Day Celebration parade in Sumter, South Carolina, Nov. 11, 2017. The celebration paid tribute to the approximately 16,000 veterans in Sumter County. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kathryn R.C. Reaves)

U.S. Airmen attending the 20th Force Support Squadron Senior Master Sgt. David B. Reid Airman Leadership School stand in formation during a Veterans Day Celebration ceremony in Sumter, South Carolina, Nov. 11, 2017.

U.S. Airmen attending the 20th Force Support Squadron Senior Master Sgt. David B. Reid Airman Leadership School stand in formation during a Veterans Day Celebration ceremony in Sumter, South Carolina, Nov. 11, 2017. During the ceremony, attendees listened to guest speakers, witnessed a memorial wreath ceremony and listened to a playing of “Taps.” (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kathryn R.C. Reaves)

Children watch as U.S. Airmen and Soldiers walk past during a Veterans Day Celebration parade in Sumter, South Carolina, Nov. 11, 2017.

Children watch as U.S. Airmen and Soldiers walk past during a Veterans Day Celebration parade in Sumter, South Carolina, Nov. 11, 2017. Hundreds of community residents attended the celebration, hosted by the Sumter County Veterans Association, to honor past and present service members in the local community. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kathryn R.C. Reaves)

U.S. Airmen assigned to the 20th Force Support Squadron Honor Guard march during a Veterans Day Celebration parade in Sumter, South Carolina, Nov. 11, 2017.

U.S. Airmen assigned to the 20th Force Support Squadron Honor Guard march during a Veterans Day Celebration parade in Sumter, South Carolina, Nov. 11, 2017. The honor guardsmen led Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Airmen and Soldiers in the parade as well as Air Force Junior ROTC cadets, cheerleaders and school band members. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kathryn R.C. Reaves)

U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Michael Garrett, U.S. Army Central commanding general, speaks to attendees during a Veterans Day Celebration in Sumter, South Carolina, Nov. 11, 2017.

U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Michael Garrett, U.S. Army Central commanding general, speaks to attendees during a Veterans Day Celebration in Sumter, South Carolina, Nov. 11, 2017. Garrett spoke about the sacrifices veterans make as well as the impact they make on their communities after they leave the service. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kathryn R.C. Reaves)

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- The Sumter County Veterans Association and local residents hosted a Veterans Day Celebration in Sumter, South Carolina, Nov. 11.

Veterans Day honors the nation’s approximately 20 million veterans, of which about 420,000 live in S.C. with over 16,000 in Sumter, said Valerie Brunson, S.C. Association of County Veterans Affairs officer.

Hundreds of attendees gathered to applaud service members as Airmen and Soldiers assigned to Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., marched in a parade behind 20th Force Support Squadron honor guardsmen.

Parade attendees waved flags and cheered as service members and veterans passed by, followed by Air Force Junior ROTC cadets, cheerleaders and school band members.

After the parade, Team Shaw and Sumter community members attended a ceremony in front of the Sumter County Courthouse. The ceremony included guest speakers, a memorial wreath ceremony, the playing of “Taps” and the recognition of veterans.

Lt. Gen. Michael Garrett, U.S. Army Central commanding general, gave the keynote address.

“On Veterans Day, we join together to pay those who’ve served a proper tribute,” said Garrett, “to say thanks for their loyalty to their country and their sacrifices which made us what we are today and what we’ve been for two centuries: the world’s indispensable nation, the land of the free, the home of the brave (and) a beacon of hope in an often troubled world.”

Following the program, veterans and community members joined together to discuss their appreciation and support.

“Right now, across the country, veterans serve as teachers, doctors, engineers, social workers, community leaders, first responders and even elected officials,” said Garrett. “They continue to serve our country and our communities by making positive impacts, building stronger futures and inspiring future generations to come.”