PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The Veterans Day Parade is a tradition.

It’s a coming together of vets and civilians to honor and remember.

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“We’ve got to tip our hats to these men and women who are keeping our lives safe,” said veteran Darven Thomas.

And that they did, through downtown Pittsburgh. From the larger marching bands, to the smaller reenactment drum corps.

Many of those who came out just wanted to say thank you to the men and women who have served their country. But for others who were there, the message was very personal.

Lisa Haydu of Swisshelm Park wanted to honor her parents. Her father is still living, her mother is not. Both served in the military. She stood, holding their pictures, remembering the pride with which they served.

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“Some gave all, all gave some and it’s an important thing to remember,” Haydu said.

Another family gathered to support their 93-year-old uncle. He served in WWII. They affectionately call him the “Herminator,” because he’s been through so much, from the war and beyond.

“He is 93 years old, went through a lot of battles in the second world war,” said family member Mary Ann Appect. “He was wounded, never got the Purple Heart, but he should have.”

They show up because they want him to know they are proud of his service to our country. That’s what the day is really about – pride, thanks and recognition, that the sacrifice made by the men and women who serve hasn’t gone unnoticed.

“Today is about people recognizing the men and women in the service,” said veteran Dan Barr.

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Lynne Hayes-Freeland