Friday morning's parade started with the veterans leading the way -- much like they're credited for leading the way to American freedom.
Tallahassee resident Don Yaeger says, "Veterans are the hearts and soul of our country. It's amazing when we get a chance to celebrate them. So, we brought the children out to be able to teach them early how valuable our freedom is."
Thousands lined the streets in downtown Tallahassee for the annual Veterans Day parade.
Tallahassee resident Judy Gross says, "To recognize that they have gone above and far above what they could offer to this country. It means a great deal to me."
Many in the crowd are war veterans themselves.
Andre Bryant, a Desert Storm and Desert Shield Veteran stood side-by-side at the parade with his two daughters. He says, "It's a sense of gratitude. I really appreciate the community, just the state and the world coming together as one."
Vietnam Veteran Jim Curley says, "This is so wonderful to see so many people out here. I can't say enough for the people that were lost."
Stefan Floyd is also a veteran. He says, "Just the support that they give us is awesome. The parade is great."
Not even the brisk temperatures stopped those who are grateful from coming out.
Tallahassee resident Renae Wallace and her kids watched the parade wrapped in blankets. Wallace says, "It's important that we celebrate that they have fought and continue to fight for our freedom. Freedom isn't free."
In the midst of the entertainment, marching bands, ROTC teams, community leaders, and many other parade participants, the overall message was simply, "Thanks" to all veterans.