NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — Veterans from every branch of service marched along the streets of New Orleans on Saturday, Nov. 11, for the seventh annual Veterans Day parade.

“I’m just grateful to all the men and women of the armed forces that served our country and defended our freedom,” says organizer of the New Orleans Veterans Day parade John D. Fitzmorris III.

Those marching in the parade say it’s important for veterans to know they are forever valued.

“They sacrificed so much, and for us to just come out here and support them. We are very happy to be here,” says Streetcar Strutter Yvonne Bryant.

Some marched, some rolled, and others lined up along the street, as this day holds a place in the hearts of those who have served. However, it’s also a reminder of the challenges these veterans have faced.

“Soldier homelessness and soldiers’ families are food insecure. It gives us an opportunity to not just say thank you but raise the consciousness of our veterans coming home,” says Fitzmorris.

The 2023 parade honorary grand marshal was Matt Cole, a U.S. Marine who served from 1999 to 2006, with four years active duty and two years reserve. Cole says the parade lets people know that the work they’ve done is appreciated.

“Veterans are proud to serve. Many of us have had the calling to serve, even from an early age. It’s always great when people remember it’s Veterans Day. It’s a day to thank your veterans. Thank all the living veterans who celebrate them. Enjoy the day and enjoy all the freedoms that we have for all the veterans from years,” says Cole.

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