MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — A Memorial Day ceremony held at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center Monday morning brought veterans, their families and community members together to honor those who gave their lives while serving in the US forces.

Mayor Brenda Bethune said Monday was about more than BBQ’s.

Monday’s ceremony had the traditional wreath laying and gun salute, a table ceremony for those missing in action, as well as military music from festive brass that had the crowd clapping, crying and dancing.

“Memorial week is military appreciation week and even with the bad weather that we’ve had, it’s been so uplifting to see so many people brave that and get out anyway,” Bethune said. “And that shows how much our community supports our military — past and present.”

Myrtle Beach’s Military Appreciation Committee put on events throughout the month of May to show appreciation for the US military.

Some of those events were cancelled due to inclement weather, but what was not cancelled was the appearance of the traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall.

“How many of us have gone to the Vietnam Memorial Wall and traced the names we knew from our town, our school, our youth, and touched their names on that black, granite wall?” said retired Lt. General Michael Davison Jr.

Chris Aranda, with the Military Appreciation Committee, said having the wall back in Myrtle Beach for the first time in six years was worth the wait.

“The young lady that was standing before me had never met her father until yesterday,” Aranda said. “She had an opportunity to touch her father for the first time and meet him, by touching and rubbing his hand on that granite wall.”

Veterans rose at the familiar sound of their service song and remembered loved ones lost in the battle for our freedom.

“Though we cannot see them, they still gather in their flight formations, man their ships, hold their positions and outposts and assemble around countless campfires,” Davison Jr. said.

Festive brass will be back at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center for a free performance Tuesday at 7 p.m.

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Claire Purnell is a multimedia journalist at News13. Claire is from Louisville, Kentucky. Claire joined the News13 team in January 2023 after graduating from the University of Colorado-Boulder in December 2022. Follow Claire on Twitter and read more of her work here.

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