NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — From parades to solemn ceremonies, Memorial Day is the day we honor those who died defending our freedoms.

“People put their lives on the line so that the rest of us can be safe,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Monday. “It’s a chance to remember them, to say thank you.”

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WCBS 880’s Monica Miller reports

Speaking at a ceremony at the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ monument, Bloomberg said we must not only honor those who have given their lives for our country, but also show support for those still fighting today.

“They have stood when others could not, they have done what others did not and they have earned not just our respect, but our gratitude and our support,” he said.

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Meanwhile, aboard the Intrepid, a wreath laying ceremony honored those lost at sea.

Bob Cope came to remember his brother George, who died in 1944 before he was born.

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“I’ve got to be careful because I get emotional, but it’s an honor,” he said. “I’m thrilled to represent my family, his memory and his shipmates.”

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It all serves as a sobering reminder to the 1.4 million men and women in uniform today.

“To see all the service members out here, as well as the people out here partaking in this, it really means a lot to us, especially those who are in harm’s way at this particular moment,” said U.S. Marine Sgt. Trahare Garrison.

There was also a special wreath laying in Mount Vernon to remember lives lost. The mayor along with other city officials, placed wreaths at the plaza of City Hall.

Following the ceremony, a parade was held throughout city streets.

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