ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCBD) – A salute to the military taking place up and down the South Carolina coastline for the 4th of July. The 13th annual Salute from the Shore took off from northern Horry Country, crossing the state before finishing in Beaufort. The 200-mile journey is held each year to honor America’s birthday.
The 13th annual flight started in Wilmington, North Carolina, and passed the Charleston coastline before making its way down to Hilton Head Island. Beach goers say it’s worth fighting beach traffic to see the yearly flyover.
“I thought it was pretty cool to see some of the military planes in action, just to let everyone in the crowd experience just how awesome they are,” says Dominique Richardson, a resident visiting the Isle of Palms beach.
The flight down South Carolina’s coastline is a yearly tradition started 13 years ago by two men who were looking for a way to honor military personnel away from home, defending America’s freedom on her birthday. The tradition has taken off since 2009.
“It’s awesome to see everyone out here,” says Richardson. “It kind of seems normal, I know we had like a whole shut down thing a couple of years ago but it’s pretty cool to see everyone outside enjoying the friends, family, and sun.”
It’s a sight to see and an honor for those behind the wheel. Since 2009, several past and current military aircraft have taken on the mission traveling roughly 200 hundred miles. Monday’s flight included two F-16s from the Midlands and a C-17 from Joint Base Charleston.
“I’m Captain Tripp Gilbert with the 315th Airlift Wing out here flying Salute from the Shore in a c-17,” says Captain Gilbert. “We’ve got a really great crew on board today, we appreciate you coming out and showing your support with those American flags. Have a happy 4th of July.”
For those taking it all in, in between the sun and sand, they say it’s an opportunity to reflect on the true meaning of Independence Day.
“Big ups to the military family and community,” says Richardson. “I think it’s awesome that we show them support because obviously they’re the ones keeping us safe and all the freedoms we have here. I think it’s awesome.”