Memorial Day airshow celebrates wartime pilots

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COLUMBIA - Military aircrafts twisted and turned through the sky in preparation for the Salute to Veterans Memorial Day Celebration Airshow Friday afternoon.

The 27th annual airshow allows residents and veterans to come together to remember veterans that have lost their lives serving the United States.

For veterans flying the aircrafts, these airshows allow them do something they love while remembering fallen soldiers.

"Being able to provide just a little small part of that honor to veterans is very important to me," Air Force veteran Steve Guenard said.

Guenard is a former pilot and will fly the 1917 Curtiss Jenny aircraft (shown below) throughout the weekend. He said he is excited to see some of the planes his father, a fallen WWII Naval Aviator, flew during his time on duty. (Click here to read more.)

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The 1917 Curtiss Jenny is one of many aircrafts that can be seen throughout the two-day event. Planes will be flying above the Columbia Regional Airport and some will do a few tricks and flips in the air.

Visitors will be able to go inside and get a closer look at some of the aircrafts used in WWII.

One veteran pilot said this weekend and celebration in particular makes him "very proud to be a veteran."

"Nowadays people are a lot more appreciative of the commitment and volunteers that join the service and fight for the freedom of this country," Air Force veteran Mark Schuler said. "In the past, during the Vietnam era, it wasn't the same as it is now. They really do appreciate the veterans and it's really nice to see that."

The airshows are scheduled for 9 a.m. on both Saturday and Sunday at the Columbia Regional Airport.

Parking will not be available for the public. Shuttles will begin pick-up at 8:30 a.m. at Fifth and Walnut in downtown Columbia. The event is free of charge.

Pilots Guenard and Schuler both said they are excited to share this weekend with citizens and to be able to fly the aircrafts.

"I'm just happy to be here," Guenard said.

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