National Tribute to American Heroes: Hyundai Air and Sea Show Reminds Us of What Memorial Day Weekend is Really About

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With a highly anticipated return, this year’s Hyundai Air & Sea Show has taken Miami Beach by storm, ringing in Memorial Day over the long weekend. Live performances, military demonstrations, a free Display Village and more drew visitors from across the country in a true celebration of the American military. The event saw active military, veterans, prospective members and locals come together to make Memorial Day beyond barbecues and block parties. Citing Miami Beach’s mayor, commissioners, city officials and law enforcement, nearly 1.2 million people visited the Hyundai Air & Sea Show over Memorial Day weekend.

Mickey Markoff, the executive producer of the Hyundai Air & Sea Show, explained that the intention behind the event was to bring back the authentic spirit of Memorial Day. Considering other marquee national celebrations taking place across the country, Markoff found himself wondering why military sacrifice isn’t honored year-round — and what exactly defined Memorial Day in the eyes of Americans. who celebrate it as a day off. In the end, he decided to create a signature event to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of our freedom. Planning the “multidimensional puzzle,” as Markoff calls it, is a daunting task every year in a row, but building a lasting Memorial Day legacy remains absolutely worthwhile for him and his team that makes it all possible.

“On behalf of everyone at Hyundai, I am deeply honored to be here with you to commemorate the sacrifices of the men and women who have served this nation,” said José Muñoz, CEO of Hyundai Motor America.

The Hyundai Air & Sea Show always sees regulars, but for some this year’s ceremonies in Miami Beach were their first appearance. Commander of the US Air Force Recruiting Command, Major General Edward Thomas, who has 32 years of active military service under his belt, was pleased to see the level of interaction between the military and the public. “Anytime we can get out there and be face to face, having our airmen, our soldiers on the beach with these people so they can see firsthand what their American taxpayers are providing to our national defense, that’s a win.” , Thomas said. The Display Village, where various organizations were able to put on shows and set up exhibits, was particularly helpful in facilitating communication between visitors and military branches, especially in the face of “the toughest recruiting year in nearly a quarter of a century”, according to Thomas.

“Events like this are absolutely great; being able to go out and talk to people and make the military real… We are real people with hopes, dreams, aspirations, desires and families, and we want you to know who we are,” Thomas continued. As another participant, the Director of Strategic Plans, Programs and Requirements for the US Air Force’s Global Strike Command, Major General Jason Armagost, said: “Having this transparency, so that people see and understand what we do. Having young kids inspired by watching something like this show is pretty important to us.

For Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Master Sergeant Earl Plumlee, the most exciting part of the weekend was meeting new members of the military when they were sworn in. “It’s exciting for me to watch them begin their journey,” said Plumlee, who has served in the Special Forces for a total of 24 years. The show brought together people from all walks of life behind a single cause, breaking boundaries with each new introduction.

The festivities began Saturday at 11 a.m. sharp, lining the waterfront between 11th and 14th streets in Miami Beach. Taking place over Saturday and Sunday, live demonstrations drew attention to the waterfront, where ThunderCats and Cigarette Offshore Powerboat drivers showed off their skills in a series of competitive racing demonstrations. No less than ten of the championship’s legendary cigarette boats were given pride of place, giving the public a first-hand look at the niche sport of powerboat racing that the company produces.

A flyboard exhibition and freestyle jet-skiing event rounded out the action on the waves before the military displays took to the air. Parachute teams like the US Navy’s Leap Frogs joined US Air Force para-rescue professionals to show off their skills, while some of the Air Force’s state-of-the-art aircraft performed flyovers over- above the crowd. One of the main purposes of the event was to introduce young people to the different factions, positions and responsibilities within the US military, and one pilot in particular stood out for her crucial role. Captain Aimee “Rebel” Fiedler, pilot and commander of the US Air Force’s Viper Demonstration Team, performed perfectly timed maneuvers. Her skills stood like a pillar representing the increasingly visible and undeniable female presence within the military.

Between the two parts of the show, guests mingled with Lummus Park Display Village activations, took part in interactive exhibits, viewed military equipment, including an Army M1A2 tank, and enjoyed performances rotations of the Max Impact Band and the USAF Honor Guard Drill Team. . Taking place on the same day, the Monster Energy FMX motocross show kicked off the incredible stunts of top motocross athletes.

On Saturday, as the day began to wind down around 5 p.m., the musical explosion of the event signaled that the night was far from over. Lasting until 10 p.m., the evening featured the famous rock band 3 Doors Down, as well as musicians representing the US Army and Air Force. As the headliner closed the show, a dazzling fireworks display rose over Miami Beach. Acting as much as a gesture as an unforgettable event for the whole family, this year’s National Salute was a huge success, paying tribute in good humor in the idyllic setting of the Miami Beach coast.

If you’re planning on attending the Hyundai Air & Sea Show next year, be sure to keep an eye out for special offers and opportunities for lucky fans; this year, one winning contestant was chosen to accompany former fighter pilot Matthew “Whiz” Buckley on a special flight in an L-39C Albatros fighter jet, with the entire experience documented via Go-Pro cameras . While the Air and Sea Show can be enjoyed for free as long as you find a good vantage point on the beach, general admission tickets and upgrades like LiquorSplit Beach Club and Herradura Cabana Club reservations also promise better access. to all parts of the event. like privileged views and drink service.

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