SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – From STCC to City Hall, the parade began their route on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11 month, once again coming together to thank veterans for their service.

Patrick Keough is a World War II Veteran who was honored as Veteran of the Year during the ceremony on the City Hall steps. His sense of duty carried beyond his time as a gun pointer in the Navy, going on become the deputy fire chief of the Springfield Fire Department.

“It’s just something that I feel,” he told 22News. “It’s in my body somewhere and it’s telling me ‘if there’s a problem, try to fix it’.”

Thomas Belton is the Director of Springfield Veterans’ Services. Serving in the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War, he said days like these can be bittersweet.

“I reflect upon my life and I remember my friends that I had and I remember the ones that are gone now but this is a way of keeping them alive,” Belton said.

Wreaths were laid out at each one of the monuments in Court Square that pay tribute to Veterans, a reminder set in stone of the dedication and perseverance of those who fought for this country.

“Remember veterans not just on those two days but every day that they take a breath,” said Belton. “Understand you’re breathing that free air because a veteran paid the price for it.”

The city also recognized Vietnam Veteran Robert Shonak as this year’s Parade Marshal.