MEDIA, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- From simple acts of gratitude, to elaborate parades, America honors all those who served on Veterans Day and the yearly celebration was back in full swing in Media, Delaware County.
"I served in 1967 to '69 during the Vietnam war in the U.S. Navy. And then in '77 went in the Army Reserves and stayed there until 1998 when they retired me," said Raymond Weed of Ridley Township.
For 15 years, Weed has been coming to Delaware County's annual Veterans Day Parade in Media. It's considered one of biggest in the state. He always sits in the same spot in front of court house.
And while you'll usually find him with his buddy, this year he's alone.
"He served in World War II over in the Pacific and he just died two years ago. He was 92 I think," said Weed.
For Weed and so many other veterans, this day is about more than just a parade, it's about service, sacrifice and appreciation.
For 61 years, the parade has been just a small way to say thank you to all those who've served. And while it may seem like a small gesture, veterans say sometimes just hearing those words can make a big difference.
"During the year, if I am wearing one of my hats or whatever, multiple people will come and say thank you for your service and it's a good feeling," said Richard Snow of Havertown.
"I am thinking about those that didn't come home," said Bob McMahon, Mayor of Media.
McMahon is a Vietnam Veteran and has been attending the parade for 30 years. He says all these years later, he's still touched by the experience and hopes that all those who attend will leave with a sense of gratitude and respect for our military.
"Veterans Day is about veterans. It is about understanding what they went through and understanding we need a military. America is it, we protect the world. Nobody else is going to do it," said McMahon.
According to the U.S. Census, women make up a growing share of veterans. As of 2018, about 9% of veterans (1.7 million) were women. By 2040, that number is projected to rise to 17%.