The Springfield Veterans Parade is considered the kick-off for the Veterans Day holiday.
One of the hundreds lining the sidewalks was Rita Davis. She said that every generation in her family has served in the military
"Because of them we have our freedom," Davis said. "When my son went into the navy I collapsed... I can't imagine the mothers and fathers that lose their families.
"If I can lighten their heart, and they'll know somebody cares, that's important to me that's all I care about."
Davis makes quilts for veterans; her most recent work of art was sewn for PFC. Cody James Patterson.
Billy Scannell says riding in the parade is his way of saying thanks.
"Regardless about what you feel about anything you know you should support our vets that are going out and putting themselves in harms way for us, and it's one small way that I can say thanks," Scannell said.
Richard Jessup, a WWII veteran, and Korean War vet Hugh Hillar agree, saying it's nice to see so many families waving American flags.
"It's nice to see them remembering. People come up and thanking you for your service... It's too bad we can't thank the ones that have gone behind us. I kinda cry every time I hear bagpipes, particularly in a parade like this," said Jessup.
I have every respect for those that have," said Hillar. "And I have all the respect of those of the veterans that have given so much to keep us free."