Thousands line Fifth Avenue in NYC to honor veterans at America’s Parade

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MIDTOWN, Manhattan -- To the beat of bagpipes and marching bands, more than 20,000 people made their way up Fifth Avenue in New York City for the country's largest tribute to our Nation's veterans.

Along the route, supporters waved American flags and displayed signs of gratitude.

"If it wasn't for them we wouldn't have all the freedoms we have today," said one onlooker.

Mayor Bill de Blasio was among the marchers and former New York District Attorney, World War II veteran Robert Morgenthau, served as grand marshal.

"Everyone who participated in the war effort is a hero," Morganthau said.

At a ceremony in Madison Square Park, parade officials saluted those who made the ultimate sacrifice. And expressed an emphatic thank you to the vets who made it home.

"It's very important that when you come back you feel, unlike what we felt when we came back from Vietnam, a positive attitude by everybody," Richard Baron, a Vietnam veteran said.

The show of support in New York City was strong on this day but many, including Mayor de Blasio, pointed out more needs to be done to address joblessness and homelessness among our nations veterans.

"We have to be there the help. Whether that's with physical health, psychological health, housing or jobs," de Blasio said.

On Tuesday, New York's city council passed new legislation creating a department dedicated to veterans services.