‘We never forget’: Myrtle Beach dedicates new World War II Memorial

Published: Nov. 9, 2023 at 10:15 AM EST|Updated: Nov. 9, 2023 at 6:19 PM EST
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - The city of Myrtle Beach dedicated its long-awaited World War II Memorial at Warbird Park on Thursday.

Eleven veterans of the conflict attended the ceremony, including former Myrtle Beach Mayor and guest speaker Bob Hirsch.


“We all helped. Everybody helped out in World War II,” Hirsch said.

The city spent months trying to make sure it would be finished ahead of Veterans Day on Nov. 11, with finishing touches being put on earlier this week. Some of those touches included raising the flags and placing a bronze statue of a P-47 fighter plane.

The memorial pays homage to those who served in World War II, as well as the Grand Strand’s wartime role serving as an Army airfield where soldiers trained.

“Where we are gathered, Warbird Park is such a beautiful memorial to so, so many,” Myrtle Beach Mayor Brenda Bethune said. “And aren’t we lucky to have this to preserve our military history and to share it with our children for generations to come?”

Bethune said memorials like this are critical, but they are not enough.

“We must also keep alive the stories of those who served,” the mayor said.

Stories like WWII veteran Dick Richards, who entered the Marine Corps in the fall of 1946. He said he and his brothers-in-arms now have a permanent spot in Grand Strand history.

“It’s the kind of gathering that speaks to our hope that we never forget,” Richards said.

Also in attendance was Navy veteran and Myrtle Beach resident Alfred Smith who said he’s appreciative of all the hard work that went into the city’s new monument.

“I think it’s very nice. I’m very proud to be a part of it, and I think the people who are here in Myrtle Beach should be very proud that they have this memorial here,” Smith said.

He added that he hopes the memorial will be a long-standing part of Myrtle Beach’s future and will keep the legacy of our country’s “Greatest Generation” alive.

Rabbi Doron Aizenman of Chabad of Myrtle Beach said people need to come to see the new monument.

“This memorial serve[s] as a place to learn this most important chapter in [the] history of the world,” Aizenman said. “Every child in school, every student in college. Yes, every student in college must come here.”

After the ceremony, the city took a picture of the 11 veterans, and that will be put at the memorial’s entrance.

You can watch the full ceremony on the WMBF News YouTube page.

Stay with WMBF News for updates.