The mood was both lighthearted and somber at the Veterans Day March in Coconut Grove on Monday.
The community honored its hometown heroes with a parade and ceremony at the coconut grove historical Cemetery where veterans are buried.
"It's hard to go out there and fight for us in Afghanistan and all the other countries out there, so I'm proud of them," said Taylor Dames, who watched the parade.
The City of Miami firefighters, police officers, veterans, and the Family Riders Motorcycle Club joined the five-block parade route Monday morning.
"We congratulate you all, we appreciate all the work you all have done," said Warren Gibson of the Family Riders Motorcycle Club.
It is the first Veterans Day honoring the servicemen and women who served since the last U.S. troops left Iraq in 2011. Veterans of all generations tell NBC 6 what's often overlooked when they return home.
"most important is when they come back, the love and respect we need to show them and the support, to get them back on their feet," said veteran Alice Eason.
Carl Smith served 11 months and 6 days in the Vietnam War.
"it takes time to readjust back to society if you've been in a wartime situation, and that's what I want people to be more understanding of veterans," said Carl Smith, another veteran.