Sumter salutes veterans with parade, ceremony
By Airman 1st Class Kelsey Tucker, 20th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published November 11, 2016
SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- Hundreds of veterans, active-duty service members and members of the community took over Main Street for the second annual Veterans Day parade in Sumter, South Carolina, Nov. 11.
Team Shaw had strong representation from the base honor guard leading the parade to the formations and various military vehicles in the line-up.
“This is just a small thing that we can do for the men and women that have served in our armed forces,” said Vivian Fleming-McGhaney, chairperson of the Sumter County Council. “We just want to show them that we honor what they do as [active-duty members], and when they become veterans we will continue to honor them for their services.”
The parade ended in front of the Sumter County Courthouse and was followed by a ceremony to honor those who have served or are currently serving in the U.S. armed forces.
This year’s guest speaker was Col. Daniel Lasica, 20th Fighter Wing commander.
“We’re here to thank and honor the men and women of our armed forces, our warrior class,” said Lasica. “We would be remiss, however, if we did not recognize and thank our military spouses and our military families who have borne and continue to bear so many burdens and sacrifice so much.”
Lasica prompted the gathered crowd to consider three things: first, to remember the men and women who are currently deployed in harm’s way and who are continuing the fight in far away lands; second, to help provide veterans with meaning and purpose in their lives outside of the military; and finally, to ask veterans about their stories.
“It will be a truly American story,” said Lasica. “[Veterans] have much to teach us.”
At the conclusion of the ceremony, guests were encouraged to attend festivities behind the courthouse, including a meet-and-greet and free food.