The City of Columbia, Missouri held its annual Salute to Veterans Parade and Salute to the Nation ceremony on Monday, May 29, 2017. The events capped off a Memorial Day weekend full of tributes that included a two-day air show at the Columbia Regional Airport. The parade featured high school marching bands, veterans in cars, and a variety of resources from the Columbia Fire Department, Columbia Police Department, and Boone County Sherriff’s Office. Hundreds of people, from families in search of a fun activity to veterans like Jerry Kilgore lined to parade route. Kilgore said that Memorial Day is always tough for him because it brings back a lot of memories. The parade and celebrations help him get through it.
The real highlight of the weekend came during the Salute to the Nation ceremony when members of US and Canadian special forces parachuted in. The Canadian Armed Forces Sky Hawks and US Army Black Daggers tumbled through the air as they performed unforgettable aerial stunts.
At the end of the day, the point of having all of these events to commemorate Memorial Day is to stress the importance of the real meaning of the holiday. Organizers want to ensure that future generations understand the sacrifice that members of US military and their families make. As Korean War veteran Howard William Osterkamp once said, “all gave some; some gave all.” Veterans like Jerry Kilgore want to make sure that these ideas and the true meaning of Memorial Day live on years many years to come.