Updated 05/28/2012 03:50 PM
NYC Honors Military Members Who Gave Their Lives
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Events are going on around the city and the country Monday to honor those who died in service to the nation.
Mayor Bloomberg paid tribute to the nation's fallen at a ceremony at the Soldiers and Sailors Monument on the Upper West Side.
The mayor laid a wreath at the foot of the monument before addressing a crowd that included elected officials, veterans and others who wanted to pay tribute to those lost.
"It's a day for the rest of us to remember those who have served and those who have never come back and to make sure that our children understand that freedom is not free," the mayor said.
"When people sacrifice their lives the least it should be is that they should be remembered," said Rep. Charles Rangel of Manhattan. "This is especially so in wars that have not been declared, fought by volunteers and sacrifices that are not being shared."
"I think its important that we show our children the importance of Memorial Day," said one resident who attended. "Their grandfather - my father - was in the Marine Corps in Vietnam, so it's a big part of my life growing up."
In Brooklyn, Marines, veterans and other parade-goers marched along Third Avenue in Bay Ridge to honor the borough's fallen soldiers.
"My father served in Korea and I had an uncle who went M.I.A in Korea," said one parade-goer. "This right here, support the neighborhood and the guys.
"Since World War II, when I was a baby, that was one of the first things I saw," said another. "Uncles, cousins, coming back or not coming back.
"I just pray for their safety and their safe return," said a third. "But I am also very appreciative for everything that they are doing for our country."
The Bay Ridge parade is in its 145th year.
Organizers say it's the oldest continuously-run Memorial Day parade in the country.