JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WITN) -- As Veteran's Day approaches on Monday, the city of Jacksonville is helping put the meaning of the holiday in focus.
"It's all about saying 'thank you' and reminding everybody what it takes to have a free country," says Susan Dosier, a Visit Jacksonville team member.
That's why Jacksonville, home to many military members and their families, hosted it's first veteran tribute weekend.
"It's always nice to be appreciated for what you've done, for the long hours you've put in, the many days, months and years you've been away from your families," says veteran, Gary Fischbach.
Fischbach served twenty two years in the army and came from Shallotte to watch Saturday mornings parade.
He says events like this are humbling.
"It means a lot to us."
Following Saturday morning's parade, attendees were welcome to a family fun event at the Jacksonville Commons Recreation Complex.
"Our goal with this was to bring a lot of families together, bring people together who are proud of our country, who want to recognize and honor the contributions of so many veterans," says Dosier.
Dosier says this is the biggest parade turnout the city has seen.
One big hit on the day was the Youtube star, Reuben the bulldog.
"We thought wouldn't it be fun to have reuben this bulldog with an amazing youtube following in wilmington to come and pay tribute to his marine mascot buddies," Dosier adds.
She says it's always a great time when the community comes out to honor those who have sacrificed for our country.
"We know that families are so effected by people being deployed and that kind of thing and that's why the center of our event is that family time together."