Updated: 05/26/2014 5:39 PM
Created: 05/26/2014 4:28 PM WHEC.com
Memorial Day is a holiday we remember all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Schools and businesses are shut down and services are held throughout the country.
There was lots of energy and smiles at the parade on East Avenue, but this is also a somber and emotional day for many of Rochester's veterans.
Veteran Stuart Blume remembers the friends he lost.
He says, "When I went to Vietnam, I went over with fifteen guys - I'm one of five that came back. So it means a lot."
Blume says Memorial Day use to paralyze him with grief, but now he's able to cheer on the marching bands, bagpipers and other veterans.
"It makes me feel good to be around other veterans and everything. Getting the welcome home the Vietnam Veterans did not get."
Blume and other veterans say they keep our troops overseas in their thoughts not only today - but every day.
Veteran Steve Weber says, "It should be a day of remembrance. The cook outs are great but that's not what it's all about."
Blume says, "It's a day to remember - be with your family and friends."
News10NBC's own Pat Taney emceed the parade downtown. Several other Monroe County communities also held parades for Memorial Day on Monday.