May 21, 2009
Veterans will be honored throughout the state this weekend with air shows and exhibits.
The 21st annual Salute to Veterans Celebration in Columbia will feature a two-day air show, parade and demonstrations to honor military veterans through Memorial Day weekend.
Nancy Fields, media chairwoman for the event, said this year the show is featuring new demonstrations for the children.
NASA will be bringing an exhibit for the children to take pictures in real space suits. The Army will display an aviation element simulator to give people the opportunity to feel what it is like to fly a helicopter.
“The big point it that it’s free,” Fields said.
The day will begin at 9:30 a.m. Saturday with the air show at Columbia Regional Airport. More than 10 flying forces will perform aerial acrobatics until 3:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
The Army K-9 Corps from Fort Leonard Wood will perform a K-9 demonstration and the Kansas City Dawn Patrol will show the crowd a “flying circus,” with 10 World War I aircraft flying together.
Several other units will be performing throughout the weekend, including a low, slow aerobatics musical salute to all veterans.
“It’s a great way to honor our veterans that are serving and have served,” Fields said.
Last year about 30,000 people attended the event and Fields said many travel from all over the area to celebrate.
The event will feature more than 40 vintage and active duty military aircraft including a World War II P-40 Warhawk, an A-1D Skyraider, a TBM Avenger and a P-38 Lightning.
Shuttle service is available at the Hearnes Center on the University of Missouri campus and at Jefferson City Airport. Service begins at 9:15 a.m. and costs $3 per person round trip.
Visitors should bring their own chairs to the show, because no seating is available. No coolers will be allowed at the air show.
A salute to veterans parade will begin at 9:55 a.m. on May 25 in downtown Columbia and a military ceremony will begin at 10:45 a.m. at the Boone County Courthouse.
Sedalia will also honor its veterans at the Pettis County Museum on Saturday. The museum is hosting a Memorial Day open house beginning at 1 p.m.
Rhonda Chalfant, vice president of the Pettis County Historical Society, said the past two years the exhibit featured WWI and WWII information.
This year’s exhibit will be about the Korean War.
“We want to honor those who served and recognize those who were killed in the war,” Chalfant said.
A short program will take place and the exhibit will stay open through July 4.
The exhibit is free to attend.
Chalfant encourages people to share their stories by mailing them to the Pettis County Museum at 228 Dundee Ave. in Sedalia. The society will organize these so they may be read by future generations.