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RESPONSE TO TERROR | U.S. SPIRIT

Holiday Parade Packed With Heroes

Thanksgiving: New York event is a patriotic affair amid tight security. Many across the U.S. find new meaning in the day.

November 23, 2001|From Associated Press

NEW YORK — A giant Statue of Liberty rolled down Broadway on Thursday, a focal point of a Thanksgiving Day parade awash with heroes and hero worshipers.

"There's always been a lot of patriotism in this parade, but there's even more this year," said David Rivkin, 46, who has been coming to the parade every year since 1959.

Thursday's 75th annual Macy's parade kicked off in relatively warm weather--41 degrees. Security was tight, as it has been throughout the city since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Americans across the nation also celebrated Thanksgiving with renewed fervor and patriotism.

Many found new meaning in the holiday as they joined family and friends, counted their blessings and found ways to help those less fortunate.

"I'm a lot more thankful for my job, for the warm weather, everything," said Tim Shores, 40, a steelworker watching Detroit's Thanksgiving parade while wearing an American flag blanket and a Detroit Lions cap.

Many spent the holiday preparing and delivering meals to people in need. Charities said the demand for Thanksgiving meals surpassed last year's as a downturn in the economy and thousands of layoffs took their toll.

In Baltimore, thousands of needy people dined at a dinner honoring Bea Gaddy, a well-known advocate for the homeless and poor. She died last month.

In Philadelphia, Miss America Katie Harman sang "America the Beautiful" and a chorus of children led spectators in the Pledge of Allegiance to kick off the parade.

In an annual tradition, several hundred people in Plymouth, Mass., joined a Native American group protesting what they called "racist mythology" at the first Thanksgiving celebrated by the Pilgrims in Plymouth in 1621.

At the trade center site in New York, Thanksgiving provided no respite from the recovery and cleanup effort. Crews were there because families of missing firefighters had criticized a Veterans Day work stoppage.

"We're hoping that maybe the towers will give somebody up for us today," firefighter Michael Crowell said.

A nearby hotel provided turkey and salmon dinners, and Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani stopped by to thank workers.

Working with an organization that helps AIDS patients, Giuliani also delivered turkey to Nelson Richardson in nearby Battery Park City, where residents had been forced to flee Sept. 11.

The lead float in the Macy's parade was called "Tribute to America" and featured the giant Liberty. Nearby, midshipmen from the Merchant Marine Academy of New York waved 50 state flags and 50 American flags.

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