MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — People gathered in the Market Common Saturday to visit the traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall despite the very damp weather conditions.
Members of the South Carolina State Guard patrolled the area where the wall is placed starting at 5 a.m. to make sure nothing happened to the wall.
One guard member said he “spent the morning straightening out flags that had been soaked by the downpour.” He and fellow members picked up trash wind had swept into the area, and as a team, they recovered the 9/11 Memorial Wall that had toppled over from the storm.
“If you ask me, it’s cold and windy, but it’s a dedication of what we do for South Carolina,” Sgt. Avery Hewitt said. “And having this wall out here to honor the veterans and everything, it’s very humbling.”
Myrtle Beach got frequent showers at the start of the holiday weekend, leading the city to cancel its Military Appreciation Days parade and picnic. But, some were going to honor the fallen despite the weather.
“We’re out here to still give remembrance regardless of rain or shine to the Vietnam Veteran Wall of course,” ceremony organizer Chris Aranda said. “We anticipate a lot of rain as we know, but we as a community will be out here and giving back to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. “It’s Memorial [Day] weekend.”
Veterans, community members and family members of the fallen gathered to honor their sacrifice.
Carl Krause, a Navy Veteran, said, “(The wall) makes me see how lucky I was.”
Past commander, Bob Farrell, with the Honor Guard, came to remember five of his best friends he lost in service. They died in weather that was similar to the rainy conditions Saturday.
“Oh God, Sarg, we don’t wanna go out tonight it’s raining,” Farrell said. “Or, Chief, do we have to fly the gunship tonight it’s sorta thundery?”
“We fought,” he said. “And it didn’t matter what the weather was. We didn’t postpone anything and we don’t postpone Memorial day because it’s raining, and we certainly don’t postpone this wall because of weather like this.”
The city is hosting more Memorial Day events through Tuesday. See the list below provided by the city for details.
- Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall Closing Ceremony – 1:00 p.m., Sunday, May 28, 1004 Crabtree Lane
- Jack Platt Veterans’ March with Battlefield Cross Ceremony – 9:00 a.m., Monday, May 29, Along Ocean Boulevard, 16th to Ninth Avenues North
- Memorial Day Remembrance Ceremony – 11:00 a.m., Monday, May 29, Myrtle Beach Convention Center, 2101 North Oak Street
- Courage in Korea: A Soldier’s Story (Free Military Documentary) – 2:00 p.m., Monday, May 29, Grand 14 Cinema at The Market Common, 4002 DeVille Street
- Festive Brass Concert Performance – 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, May 30, Ballroom ABC, Myrtle Beach Convention Center, 2101 North Oak Street
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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.