Nearly 3,000 service members take the streets of Manhattan during Fleet Week

Posted: 3:00 PM, May 28, 2019
Updated: 2019-05-28 15:01:13-04

While the fleets were in town, you know it would be a great time.

Side By Side: A Celebration of Service was created by Northwell Health to treat veterans, active military and their families to a day of music and gratitude.

Boyz II Men said they felt honored to be up on the stage Saturday.

“It’s an honor to be here to perform for men and women who preserve our freedom,” Shawn Stockman, of Boyz ll Men, told PIX11 News.

“We truly appreciate your service and this one’s for you,” Wayna Morris, of Boyz ll Men, told PIX11 News.

This outdoor concert at Rockefeller Center had sunny skies maybe because PIX11’s weatherman, Mr. G, was there to support the troops.

The event was set up by Northwell Health because the CEO said not enough is done to help out service men and women once they return from active duty:

“We applaud them when they go, but when they return, we often do not provide the support services for them and their family,” Michael Dowling, the CEO of Northwell Health, told PIX11 News.

PIX11 asked Melissa Torres, of the US Navy what’s the best part?

She replied “All the support we are getting and the fact that we get to be here, honestly.”

With close to 3,000 active duty military personnel in New York City for Fleet Week and Memorial Day weekend, many said they are overwhelmed by the outpouring of gratitude from New Yorkers.

It means so much to this mother of a vet who also happens to be a doctor at Northwell Health.

“It’s heartwarming. They give their time and sometimes their lives to protect our freedom,” Dr. Michelle Chester, a Doctor at Northwell Health, told PIX11 News.

“I am so grateful to Northwell for helping our veterans and active duty personnel,” she added.

“I like to see the appreciation it’s such an honor to serve,” Winston Sampson, a former US Air Force member and the son of Dr. Chester, told PIX11 News.

When PIX11 asked if New Yorkers say “thank you for your service”, Sampson replied yes.

But we can never say it enough on this Memorial Day Weekend: Thank you for your service.