ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Onlookers took to the streets for Albany’s Memorial Day Parade. The annual commemoration, which honors those who died in combat, drew crowds from all throughout the Capital Region.

This holiday is all about service. Crowds applauded Renee Argubano — the granddaughter of World War Two veterans — who did a service many might not want to do. Picking up horse droppings to prevent marchers from soiling their shoes.  

“I want everybody not to step on that, cuz, you know the kids probably especially they will step on that. I don’t want them to step on that!” she said.

But Argubano’s humble act goes deeper than keeping shoes and streets clean. She wants us to keep in mind the central meaning of the festivities.

“Memorial Day is about remembering those heroes…our heroes” Argubano told us.  “And they fought for us so we have freedom. Thank You,” she added.

For some like the Mayba family, serving our nation is a family affair. 

“It’s a day to reflect upon or freedoms and our values and the people who sacrificed to keep those values,” dad Chris told News 10 ABC, standing alongside his wife and two children.

As we reflect on those who didn’t get to make the journey back home, Veterans who did — like Don Brace — implore us to remember the vast units of the military that keep our nation safe.

“Being a soldier, being a marine, being an airforce man, being a coast guard, national guard, reserves, can’t miss none of those people.” The Army Indirect Fire Unit veteran told us. “Without them we wouldn’t have no United States” Brace added.

Waterloo in Upstate New York was declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Linden Johnson in 1966.