PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — For veterans like William Lewis, Veterans Day is a day where people give him thanks for his service.

“It’s hard for me not to choke up when I hear the National Anthem,” Lewis said. “I love Pensacola. I love the United States of America, and I’m proud to be a veteran.”

Hundreds of Pensacola residents lined the streets near Bayfront Parkway on Thursday to watch the Pensacola Veterans Day Parade and honor those who put on the uniform.

The parade featured marching from local JROTC groups and floats from the Pensacola community.

After the parade, a ceremony was held at Veterans Memorial Park, where thousands of lost service members are honored.

Jeff Bates, a local resident, came out to the parade to show his support for Pensacola’s veterans.

“Basically just out here to celebrate freedom and support our veterans, those who are serving now and those who will serve,” said Bates.

Like Bates, veteran Patrick Parker also took the time to reflect on Thursday, a day of gratitude and remembrance.

“For someone to risk their life in order to make sure you’re safe — that shows a lot,” said Parker. “We need to love our veterans.”

Paul Entrekin, president of the Veterans Memorial Park Foundation, was pleased with the outpour of community support for the Veterans Day event.

“We’re a very veteran rich community, “said Entrekin. “We love having the opportunity to bring everybody to the park and let them experience their jewel on the (Pensacola) bay.”