‘Salute to America’s Heroes’: Miami hosts spectacular 2-day Air and Sea Show to honor our fallen

The Hyundai Air and Sea Show closed out its two-day “Salute to America’s Heroes” in spectacular fashion in the skies over Miami Beach, Florida on Sunday.

Tourists and families came together for the annual gathering to honor America’s fallen heroes on Memorial Day weekend. The event showed off state-of-the-art technology, equipment, and service members from each of the five branches of the United States Military.

“There’s a million and a half people that have died for our freedom in this country,” producer Mickey Markoff informed Variety. “Kids that don’t have fathers and mothers and parents that don’t have kids that have died on behalf of our freedom — Memorial Day was designed to pay tribute to those people.”

The patriotic event took place across five city blocks. It showcased service members from across the nation and thrilling exhibitions of military equipment and exercises, including the Coast Guard air-sea rescue. There was also an enlistment ceremony for 500 members.

(Video Credit: Fox News)

“It’s sort of the chance for people to wrap themselves in the flag and just not take our freedom for granted,” Markoff commented. “It’s something that has such a purpose and such a quality. And I really believe this is God-breathed. I believe this is something that’s necessary for our country that brings everybody together.”

Hyundai has recently renewed its sponsorship of the event for three more years. The company is also donating $50,000 to Folds of Honor that will give scholarships to spouses and children of fallen and disabled service members.

Miami Beach beefed up police presence for the event. The weekend proved to be relatively quiet as the spectacular display officially kicked off summer.

“I think that these events will help us,” Commissioner Michael Góngora stated. “I think we need more events of this caliber that attract a different type of tourist to Miami Beach.”

As the show took off, people lounged on South Beach and many ditched their masks as they watched military cargo planes and A-10 warthogs cut through a stunningly blue sky. But there were still reminders of the pandemic as virus-sniffing dogs and sanitation stations were put in place. There was also a vaccination site close by.

As swimmers gathered in the water, a Blackhawk helicopter lowered a rescuer to the water in a demonstration for the crowd.

There were a lot of military personnel in attendance. U.S. Army Rangers clustered next to a tan military ambulance and an M-113 troop carrier.

“Thank you for everything,” Niki Simon Blacker, a 78-year-old pianist told the soldiers gathered on Ocean Drive.

The event was very good for business and returned a sense of normalcy to Floridians.

Markoff stated that the event was putting Miami Beach “in a really positive light.” He also contended that it was inclusive to visitors of all ages and from all walks of life. He posited that the show was meant to offer the public a way to celebrate the weekend and give their thanks to the military and first responders.

“That’s what this event is doing is bringing people together,” he declared.

Miami-based photographer Joel Franco for WSVN took some incredible photos:

And there was so much more to see via Twitter:

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