David Lauderdale

Send in the Beaufort Marines for SC July 4 beach flyover: How to see it and what to do

Two Marine Corps F-18 Hornets from Beaufort will join Thursday’s 10th annual Salute from the Shore Fourth of July patriotic flyover for the first time.

The Hornets from Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort will be in the “air parade” that hugs the coastline from Myrtle Beach to the Bluffton sandbar, while people down below cheer and salute.

“As the planes pass it is our hope that those viewing from the shore will pause and reflect about the price so many in the armed services pay to provide us this day of true independence,” said Salute from the Shore board chair Spann Laffitte of Columbia. “We are all incredibly in their debt.”

Here’s what to expect, and what you’re supposed to do:


Approximate times to see the planes:

Myrtle Beach: 1:03 p.m.

Pawleys Island: 1:06 p.m.

Isle of Palms: 1:15 p.m.

Charleston Harbor: 1:16 p.m.

Folly Beach: 1:20 p.m.

Edisto Island: 1:24 p.m.

Hilton Head Island: 1:31 p.m.

Daufuskie Island: 1:32 p.m.

Bluffton sandbar: 1:33 p.m.


The air parade is to include two F-18 Hornets from Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, a C-17 Globemaster transport plane from Joint Base Charleston, followed by eight vintage planes.

They are to fly as low and slow as possible, at about 1,000 feet altitude.

What to do on the ground

Organizers urge people to stand and wave, to dress patriotically, and create visible display. “Organize your patriotic displays in groups big and small, and share your tributes online for our armed forces around the world to see,” the website says.

“Go “BIG!” Get a huge flag or get creative,” the web site says.

Some communities incorporate their salute into a parade. In Beaufort this year, a large American flag may drape the swing span bridge in the heart of town. The Hornets are expected to dip low over downtown Beaufort en route back to MCAS Beaufort.

Post it

People are asked to post photos and videos online with the #SalutefromtheShore hashtag. The Instagram and Twitter accounts are (at)July4salute.

The organization suggests:

“Photos of the aircraft are great. Photos of people saluting the aircraft are better.”

Share your story

The Salute from the Shore website (salutefromtheshore.org) has a place to tell what it means to you.

“Is there a tradition you’d like to tell us about, or a hero we can help you honor? Did you have a special Salute from the Shore display last year? How do you plan to show your Wave of Patriotism this year? Share your story or just tell us why you love America on the 4th of July!”


The Salute from the Shore organization says its mission is “to unite participants in a synchronized salute to our troops that will be shared across the nation and around the world.”

Board chair Laffitte said the organization is thrilled about the participation of Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, where it is said “The noise you hear is the sound of freedom.”

“That encapsulates our mission perfectly ... We hope that as the planes pass, those on the coastline will recognize the awesome power of our military and take a moment to reflect upon the price so many pay to provide our freedom.”

Senior editor David Lauderdale has been a Lowcountry journalist for more than 40 years. He oversees the editorial page, writes opinion, and tells the stories of our community. His columns have twice won McClatchy’s President’s Award. He grew up in Atlanta, but Hilton Head Island is home.
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