Mayor Michael Bloomberg joined military leaders and veterans at a Memorial Day ceremony at the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument in Manhattan Monday.
The ceremony also commemorated the end of the Korean War.
Bloomberg reflected on the holiday, saying it was fine to have fun and celebrate the day and the good weather, but that it was also important to "remember the sacrifice that was made so that we could be here.''
"Let us pray for a day we don't have to lose our men and women to enjoy the freedoms we have," Bloomberg said.
"I think it's a great tribute to the men that served, and we really appreciate it," said veteran Joe Porreca.
New Yorkers also lined the streets in Douglaston and Bay Ridge to honor service men and women in the annual local parades and tributes.
"Every day is Memorial Day because these men and women live in our hearts, but today is a day to share that memory with the rest of the world," said veteran Anthony Mele.
-- Lori Bordonaro contributed to this report.