KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Celebration at the Station returned Sunday to kick off the start of summer while honoring the men and women who died serving this country.
“It’s an opportunity to really start summer in a heartfelt, patriotic way when you think about the sacrifices people made to get us here,” said Lee Satterfield, a U.S. Navy veteran.
Satterfield, who served from 1967-72, was overcome with emotion seeing thousands at Union Station paying tribute to those soldiers lost.
"I lost friends, and it’s just tough thinking about them, that are never going to see their family again,” Satterfield said. “It’s a lot more meaningful to veterans, to those who have served and those who have sacrificed. Memorial Day is really a sacred day.”
Food trucks lined Pershing Road outside of Union Station while the music and opening acts welcomed the incoming crowd before the performance from KC Symphony began at 8 p.m.
Danny Beckley, executive director for KC Symphony, told KSHB 41 News it’s been three years since the last Celebration at the Station due to the pandemic. With the opportunity to gather once more, he said he was excited to see so many from the community together again.
“The theme of this concert tonight, which is unity, coming together as one American people, and that’s what we hope to promote tonight as one through our music,” Beckley said.
Families like Cynthia Moran’s came dawned in red, white and blue with lined chairs and blankets to settle onto the hill at the National World War I Museum and Memorial.
“The music was one of the big things, and obviously the fireworks. I mean it’s fireworks, who doesn’t love fireworks?" Moran said. "And it feels like so long since we’ve had a reason to celebrate and have fireworks and be outside and enjoy being outside."
TIMELAPSE: @BankofAmerica Celebration at the Station ends with a spectacular fireworks display— Andres Gutierrez (@AFGutierrez) May 30, 2022
This #MemorialDayWeekend tradition in #KansasCity is back since 2019.@KSHB41 | @kcsymphony | @UnionStationKC | @TheWWImuseum | @kcmo | @KCCrossroads pic.twitter.com/qBohKFDkBf
As the American flag flew high over the thousand of veterans and patriots at Union Station, Vietnam War Marine Corps. veteran Andy Miller, who served from 1962-96 says Memorial Day is truly special.
“I’m not a hero, but I walk with a lot of heroes,” Miller said. “That’s how I think a lot of veterans feel, just to recognize your fellow man in combat. That’s what it’s all about.”