May is the month to remember Memorial Day, which is also sometimes still referred to as, “Decoration Day.” This national holiday has been celebrated for almost 150 years as a time to remember family and loved ones who served in our military and have passed before us.
It is during this time of the year that Bill Kasmann takes time to volunteer for the Memorial Day Weekend Salute to Veterans Celebration. He supports their mission to honor and serve veterans of the Armed Services, past and present, for their service to our country. Bill enjoys the great group of people he works with, as this event requires the help of over 1,000 volunteers to ensure everything runs smoothly. 2016 will mark the 28th year that this celebration has taken place in Columbia, MO.
The Memorial Day Salute to Veterans Celebration and Air Show is actually a six-day celebration, with the biggest highlight, the Air Show, taking place on the Saturday and Sunday prior to Memorial Day. The show is located at the Columbia Regional Airport, and features active duty military aircraft, as well as, vintage and heritage aircraft spanning many decades. Admission to the Air Show is free. Bill encourages everyone to come, as it is a unique event that provides a moving experience any family can enjoy.
Bill’s primary volunteer responsibility is that of the “Transportation Chair.” Many of the Memorial Day Weekend participants are provided courtesy vehicles for their use while they are staying in Columbia. Kia of Columbia, along with Head Motor Company, partner with Salute to Veterans to provide vehicles for this purpose. In addition, there are also courtesy vehicles made available by the United States Army and the United States Navy. Bill, along with many other volunteers, makes sure that the vehicles are relocated from the dealerships to the airport, allocated to the proper demonstration teams and individuals as they arrive, and then returned to the dealerships once the celebration is complete. He states, “It is one part of making the stay of our Demonstration Teams, Pilots, and Honored Guests, top notch while they are visiting Columbia.”
As Memorial Day approaches, take a moment to honor and remember those close to you which you have lost. Honor and remember too, those service members of the United States Military whose sacrifices have allowed us to enjoy our freedom today. And remember, “That as long as we honor and remember them, then they are not forgotten.”
Have a great holiday and we hope to see you at the Air Show!