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Veterans Day is a time to celebrate the peace and freedom that we enjoy and to honor those who've fought to give us those precious gifts. What better way to commemorate the sacrifice of our veterans than to throw a parade where we can publically demonstrate our gratitude, honor and affection? Some of the nation's biggest and best Veterans Day parades happen in the South, and we've rounded up a few of our favorites.

Birmingham, Alabama's Veterans Day Parade

Birmingham is home of Raymond Weeks, the founder of Veterans Day, and the city goes all out for the holiday. Tens of thousands of attendees make it one of the largest Veterans Day parades in the country.

Houston, Texas's Houston Salutes American Heroes Veterans Day Celebration

With over 10,000 residents and veterans in regular attendance, the parade in Houston is part of a larger event including a job, resource and health fair for both veterans and active military. The health fair includes free flu vaccinations and health screenings promoting veteran wellness, and at the job fair, over 30 corporations represent employment opportunities for veterans. The even also includes a formal ceremony, a keynote speaker and a 21-gun salute.

Jacksonville Florida's Veterans Day Parade

This parade itself has over 3,500 members, including veterans, active military, JROTC students and high school marching bands. During this celebration of patriotism, elaborate floats pass by a crowd wearing red, white and blue.

Branson, Missouri's Veterans Homecoming

The Veterans Day Parade is the big event, but Branson hosts celebrations all week, ranging from reunions for World War II and Vietnam veterans and a POW/MIA Service of Remembrance to gala and banquets. It all culminates with the November 11 parade.

Knoxville, Tennessee's Veterans Day Parade

This Knoxville parade route runs down Gay Street, which displays lined up American flags for the event. In the middle of the parade, everything stops and and faces west for honors to be carried out for veterans. The lights of Knoxville's Henley Bridge shine red, white and blue for Veterans Day as well.

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Arlington, Virginia's National Veterans Day Ceremony

This event at Arlington National Cemetery includes a moving ceremony of laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns and a parade of colors by veteran organizations. Dignitaries at the event give an address to a somber crowd honoring the fallen.

Washington, D.C.'s National Cathedral Veterans Day Tribute

This evening event features a concert that honors those who've served in the U.S. Armed Forces. The concert features the U.S. Marine Corps Orchestra and the Washington National Cathedral Choir.

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