Nov. 12 (UPI) — Around 25,000 veterans, active-duty military personnel and members of law enforcement marched in the annual Veterans Day Parade in New York City on Sunday.
In addition, marching bands played patriotic songs and floats made their way up Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue as onlookers waved American flags.
U.S. Army veteran Florent Groberg, a retired Army captain who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his service in Afghanistan, was grand marshal.
A traditional opening ceremony took place at 10 a.m. near Madison Square Park, and ended with a wreath laying. The parade followed at 11:15 a.m.
This year’s parade marked the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.
In Philadelphia, the National Constitution Center awarded the annual Liberty Medal to President George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush for their commitment to veterans. Former Vice President Joe Biden, chairman of the National Constitution Center’s Board of Trustees, presented the awards at the 30th Annual Liberty Medal Ceremony.
The Liberty Medal is awarded “to men and women of courage and conviction who have strived to secure the blessings of liberty to people around the globe,” according to the website.
The medal was first presented in 2006 to former Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton for their bipartisan humanitarian efforts on behalf of victims of natural disasters in Southeast Asia and the Gulf Coast.
Last year’s winner was U.S. Sen. John McCain, who died earlier this year.
At Arlington National Cemetery, a wreath-laying ceremony took place at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and continued inside the Memorial Amphitheater with a parade of colors by veterans’ organizations and remarks from dignitaries.
The federal legal holiday is Monday when all non-essential federal government offices are closed and mail is not delivered. Most state and local government offices as well as schools are closed in observance of the holiday. The New York Stock Exchange, Nasdaq and other major U.S.-based exchanges are open for business.
Because banks generally are closed on Sunday, some will opt to be open Monday, according to CNN.