Hundreds marched in the annual Memorial Day Parade in Greenpoint Sunday to pay tribute to the men and women of the armed forces. NY1's Mahsa Saeidi filed the following report.
"I'm feeling wonderful because everybody recognizes me today," says World War II veteran Michael Cupak. "Now they know that I'm a survivor."
One of only two World War II veterans at the Greenpoint Memorial Day parade, 95-year-old Michael Cupak was honored Sunday.
"Why me? Everybody did their share, not only me," Cupak asks.
For the 14th year running, they marched down Manhattan Avenue for veterans of all wars, past and present.
Organizer Rick Kenney says the parade is all about remembering those who gave up their lives for their country.
"Some of your uncles, your grandfather may not have come home from the war, remember them," Kenney says.
Ninety-three-year-old Gerald Cardinal was the grand marshal this year. The World War II veteran walked the entire length of the parade to honor and thank those who made the ultimate sacrifice
"This parade was not for BBQ's," Cardinal says. "It's for thinking about the men and women who died to save us."
Despite the fact that many participate, organizers say the parade is one of the least viewed in the city.
"If more people knew about it, I think more people would come out," said one spectator, Angela Antenen.
"Americans sometimes don't really know how blessed we are," said Arlene Margarum.
"To me, it's getting better. We've had parades where they're were having street fairs," said veteran Fred Schwally.
In addition to getting support from the community, veterans can lean on one another.
"I feel it's my job to pass any insight that I have—with returning back to civilian life—pass that on to the younger veterans," said Donald Marshall of the American Legion. "Keep going, find a service officer from any veteran organization, they'll stick with you through the whole process."