PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – One way Pittsburghers mark Memorial Day is with an annual parade in Lawrenceville.

Thousands of people lined the streets to pay their respects to the men and women who lost their lives serving our country.

There was pomp and circumstance, but also an appreciation from those who served.

“What they’ve done, we wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them guys, the Greatest Generation. I have more respect for them guys than I ever had. The older you get, the more respect you have,” John Erario said.

There was also an appreciation for those who’ve sacrificed, like Nancy Hoffman who lost her son, Petty Officer Second Class Robert Gilbertson.

“Today is difficult, although today is a day that we can honor our fallen and pay tribute to them for the sacrifices that they’ve made, not just for my son, but for all the moms and families that are out there,” Hoffman said.

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto said the faces of the young and old are a testament to how our area respects its veterans.

“A city like Pittsburgh that has such a large population of veterans, especially veterans remember those that didn’t come home and if they did, they didn’t come home the same as when they left. And having it in neighborhoods across western Pennsylvania, shows that we care to our roots,” Peduto said.

Many in attendance said the annual parade along Butler Street is tradition.

“I do it every year. I’ve done it since my kids were small. I always brought my kids to the parade and now I bring my grand dog to the parade,” Pam Novak said.

Many attend to show their love for the stars and stripes and to say a simple thank you.

“And we want to show our respect and love and honor our vets,” one man said.

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