On Veterans Day in Alameda County, they have put on a parade for more than 50 years, through war, peace and in these times, two wars.
It is a day that brings generations together. This year, the parade honored three Tuskegee Airmen who fought enemies overseas as well as bigotry at home during World War II.
"Well it's compensation for our efforts in the dark, deep past," Les Williams said. "It's nice to be recognized for what we did."
Soldiers in all wars have made sacrifices, as they do today in Afghanistan and Iraq. One major difference though, now some of those soldiers are mothers.
"It was scary, I cried for a couple of months, and then sucked it up, and did what I had to do and came home to my family," Iraq war veteran Anaya Evans said.
President-elect Barack Obama commemorated Veterans Day by laying a wreath in front of a bronze war memorial at Soldier Field in Chicago. Many are asking if he will extricate the United States from Iraq or escalate in Afghanistan.
Bay Area Rep. Barbara Lee shared her vision for a good Veterans Day.
"That there be no homeless veterans in this country," she said.
And so on this holiday, a mix of pride, patriotism and hope. Veterans Day has always been about the past; but this year, more so than others, it is also about the future.