NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Ceremonies to honor our nation’s bravest were held across the Tri-State Area this Veterans Day.
At the World Trade Center, there was a somber remembrance as yellow roses were placed next to the names of 9/11 victims who served in our military.
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Pride and patriotism were on display. Fifth Avenue was bathed in red, white and blue as the 100th annual New York City Veterans Day Parade made its way up from 25th Street to 46th Street.
The all-American procession is part of a day when we, as Americans, express our gratitude to those who fought and served.
“It’s a day that’s got to be honored,” veteran Efrain Diaz said.
“It’s a chosen few that choose to do this,” said another.
Some Marines were feeling that appreciation.
“It’s Veterans Day. The whole world recognizes our veterans for serving and having served,” said Army veteran Sgt. Edgar Morales.
“How does that make you feel?” asked CBS2’s Scott Rapoport.
“Oh, great,” Morales said.
Spectators ten people deep lined the sidewalks to watch, joining 25,000 marchers along the parade route. They were all there for the same reason.
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“To celebrate the veterans who sacrificed everything for us to have freedom,” said spectator Eric Walters.
“It’s to remember the people who never made it home,” said Army veteran Marty Stein.
“To represent guys who are not here. That’s why it’s important to us, the veterans who did make it home,” said Army veteran Angel Jorge.
Mayor Bill de Blasio was also in attendance for today’s events.
200,000 veterans call our city home. Today we honor their courage and sacrifices. But we must also remember the struggles they face. I saw it first hand in my own family growing up. New York City is here to serve them as they serve us. #VeteransDay2019
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) November 11, 2019
At sunset, New Yorkers were still flocking to the dock of the Intrepid to salute the symbol of sacrifice. Inside, a ceremony was held to honor those who defended our freedom on it.
“It is not simply a day off of work for most. It’s a solemn occasion, a day we set aside for stories,” said Rear Admiral Chip Rock.
“It’s an opportunity to see some friends,” said 92-year-old Keith Butterfield.
Butterfield served as a crew member on board during World War II.
“Veterans Day is really a day of prayer for me,” he said.
One Marine veteran told Rapoport Americans should take the time to reflect on the true meaning of Veterans Day.
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“Unfortunately, most Americans use it as an excuse to shop or take a trip. It’s just the idea. People forget the meaning of it,” he said.
On Veterans Day, we do remember, and say thank you to everyone who sacrificed for our country.