MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - Cities across South Florida are honoring service members who have bravely fought for the United States.

Miami Beach will host its 13th annual parade on Thursday.

“We are so happy to be here in person today, honoring and respecting the service of so many,” said Miami Beach City Manager Alina Hudak.

Last year, the event was held virtually due to the pandemic, but now it is back.

“This is our way of thanking them for their selfless service and to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice,” said a city official.

“Very proud. Very proud,” said veteran Neil Miller. “Here we are in the greatest country in the world. I mean, wow.”

The event includes a march down Ocean Drive, from Fifth to 14th Street, with floats, veterans, military groups, marching bands and others.

It begins at 11:11 a.m. because the event coincides with the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, which originally was to commemorate the armistice ending of World War I.

There was also a debut of special police and fire units.

At noon, festivities moved to Lummus Park where the all-veterans parachute team took to the sky for a demonstration.

One woman attending the event said her father is a Vietnam veteran and seeing that celebrated means the world to her and her family.

“It’s a little bit different for us, I think, because it was in a different era, and he didn’t get celebrated,” she said, “but it’s great that now everybody does celebrate them.”

“It’s important because that’s why we have this freedom. There is people fighting for this,” said another man.

“It’s a great feeling to let the civilians recognize us on Veterans’ Day for the sacrifices we made to make this country great,” said Air Force veteran Archie Bradley.

Tourists also stopped by to show their appreciation.

“If they wasn’t here, it wouldn’t be no us,” one woman said. “They do a good job.”

In Tamarac, 100 names of those who have fought for the country were added to Tamarac’s Veterans’ Honor Wall.

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