Paul Monti led a brief ceremony Saturday where the pledge of allegiance was recited, Miss Massachusetts sang the national anthem and a dedication was read.

___

In the Mojave Desert in California, veterans plan to resurrect a war memorial cross that was part of a 13-year legal battle over the separation of church and state.

The Sunday ceremony on Sunrise Rock follows a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union that argued the cross was unconstitutional because it was in the Mojave National Preserve.

The Supreme Court intervened in 2010 and directed a court to consider a land swap, leading to a settlement that transferred Sunrise Rock to veterans groups in exchange for five acres of privately owned land.

Henry Sandoz, who cared for the original cross as part of a promise to a dying World War I veteran, will re-dedicate a new, 7-foot steel cross on the same hilltop.

___

Thousands of spectators are expected to line Fifth Avenue for New York City's Veterans Day Parade on Sunday.

Former Mayor Ed Koch is the grand marshal for the parade, which will run for 30 blocks, starting at 26th Street.

Also marching will be the Navajo Code Talkers, who transmitted coded messages during WWII, and other veteran groups.

Some participants in the parade are collecting coat donations for Superstorm Sandy victims.

The theme is "United we Stand" and the parade marks the 200th anniversary of The War of 1812.

The parade begins at 11:15 a.m. after a wreath-laying ceremony at the Eternal Light Monument at 24th Street. Bleachers and a reviewing stand are located at Fifth Avenue and 41st Street.

___

A few hundred people attended a Veterans Day parade Saturday in downtown Atlanta.

Roger Ware, 68, walked down the sidewalk wearing his old Air Force flight suit and a patch that read, "Viet Cong Hunting Club." He was in the service nearly 24 years, including two tours in Vietnam from 1968 to 1972 as a crewman on a C-130 gunship. He said the military is more respected now than when he returned home from Vietnam. Ware said the Sept. 11 terror attacks probably changed how the country views its armed forces.

"It just wasn't a good time and right now we're kind of riding on the tails of the troops who served in the Middle East," he said.

Farther down the road, veterans Ronald McLendon, 73, of Kennesaw, and Randy Bergman, 59, of Cartersville, were working as parade marshals. McLendon said when he returned from Vietnam, he was spit on by protesters in San Francisco. He was in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and was deployed to Vietnam from 1967 to 1968.

He described the parade as a chance to receive a public thank you.

"You've got to remember that today everyone in the military is strictly volunteer," McLendon said. "So there's a lot of guys getting out there, getting shot in Iraq and Afghanistan that volunteered to be in the military."

Squads of high school ROTC students marched in uniforms, chanting as they went along the street.

Bergman said he would reluctantly support sending young soldiers to fight if it was necessary for national defense. He was unsure how and whether the U.S. should end its military involvement in Afghanistan.

"How many lives have we already put over there? And are we going to pull out and say, 'We lost.' I look back to Vietnam and see the same thing," he said.

PHOTOS: Veterans Day commemorations

Published On: Nov 11 2012 04:12:38 AM EST   Updated On: Nov 11 2012 11:12:16 AM EST
Soldiers, families, friends gather to honor Veterans across America

Sunday marks the second day of Veterans Day commemorations across the United States.

-1
1 / 6

Crowds wave to Navy Capt. Jim Minta as he participates in the 31st annual Veterans Day Parade in downtown Atlanta, Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012. (AP Photo/David Tulis)