Thousands on hand to honor vets as Philadelphia Veterans Parade held in Old City

Thousands turned out to show support for veterans as Philadelphia celebrated the 9th annual Veterans Parade.

"It means so much when, nowadays, with everything going on in the world to just come out here and give support," Jackie Barnes, a parade goer, stated.

The sights and sounds are a spectacle heading down Market Street and, behind the smiles and flair is a message of appreciation for those who have given this country so much.

Veteran Marine Julio Rosario said, "It means everything. It just means that when we decide to sign our name on that dotted line, it just helps to let us know we made the right choice in everything we’ve done for this country."

In 1775, the Navy and the Marine Corps were founded in Philadelphia. It is fitting the 250-year homecoming celebration will also be in Philadelphia in the fall of 2025.

"We’re going to have the largest assemblage of naval vessels all in one place at one time," President of Homecoming 250 Navy Marine Corps., George Leone, explained. "Ships from every major war for which the Navy and Marine Corps have defended the United States. Which can only happen here, because of the Olympia and the New Jersey."

The Military Basketball Association was marching in Sunday’s parade. They are a group that works to educate communities about the stigmas regarding PTSD and advocate to reduce the alarming rate of veteran suicides.

"Suicide prevention is something that is extremely important for everyone in our society. To have the opportunity to compete and play basketball, but also raise awareness right here, in the city of Philadelphia, is just amazing," Mike Myers, with the Military Basketball Association, said.

And the Military Basketball Association will hold their championship final in Philadelphia Memorial Day weekend of 2024.