Shaw, Sumter celebrate veterans
By Airman 1st Class Kathryn R.C. Reaves, 20th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published November 14, 2017
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.”