PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Thousands lined the streets of downtown Pittsburgh Saturday morning to honor our veterans.
It was the annual Veterans Day parade.
As they gathered for the 93rd annual parade, local veterans honored those who served or are still serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“We decided we would have a tribute to the post-9-1-1 veterans,” said Anthony Filardi with the Federation of War Veterans Societies. “We couldn’t call it a tribute, because they’re not all home.”
Dave Williams, a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, appreciates the heroes’ welcome.
“Absolutely, Pittsburgh is one of the best around, everybody is for the soldiers,” Williams said.
Williams thinks the nation is doing a better job of caring for veterans and their families. A volunteer organization called “Wounded Warriors” is assisting 350 local veterans.
“Anybody that has been injured, both physical injury or psychological injury, to support those veterans coming back,” Joe Moran with Wounded Warriors said.
The Veterans Day parade featured local high school bands playing patriotic songs and thousands of flag-waving citizens supporting heroes from every generation.
“The weather couldn’t go along with it better,” parade spectator Judy Steenson said. “It’s good to be here. It’s great to be an American.”
“It’s a great feeling of community. It brings everybody together, for our country. We love coming,” said Michelle Hickman, another parade attendee.
Some veterans who didn’t march felt it was important to be there.
“I got a grandson in the Navy, my brother died in Vietnam, I was in combat,” parade spectator Jim Woods said. “It’s a family thing.”
The event is also a history lesson, educating youths about the Civil War.
It honors veterans from every conflict including Vietnam and the Korean war.
A group of former marines that were at the parade are survivors from World War II. They’re proud of the men and women who wear the uniform today.
“I think they’re doing a great job,” WWII veteran Mario DaRossa Said. “Much like we did.”
“They’re still good very good,” WWII veteran Robert L. Mell, III said. “But I always think ours was the greatest generation.”
“Without them, we have no freedom,” parade spectator Brian Rank said. “So I’m very proud to be here, and to say thank you, to the veterans.”