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Memorial Day: New Yorkers try to keep cool while honoring vets

President Obama places a wreath at the Tomb

President Obama places a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Memorial Day (Getty) Credit: President Obama places a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Memorial Day (Getty)

New Yorkers Monday enjoyed a scorching Memorial Day, honoring fallen soldiers while trying to take refuge from the heat.

Flocking to Coney Island, City Island and area beaches, city dwellers tried to escape the nearly 90-degree weather while remembering why we celebrate the holiday.

"I'm just glad the weather's good for now. Last time, by the time I got to the beach, the sun was blocked. I look forward to spending the entire day out here," Rick Moser, 32, of Little Italy, told DNAinfo.com.

Nathan Stanton, 25, of Prospect Heights, said he appreciated the sacrifice the troops made.

"It's bittersweet, isn't it?" he told DNAinfo. "I'm thankful to all the people who died for us to get this."

Mayor Michael Bloomberg was at the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, and said that "91 New Yorkers gave their lives to preserve the freedoms and values that made us a target for terrorism."

"This holiday should remind us of the incredible debt that we owe every American who serves in our armed forces. They have not only earned our respect but our gratitude, and our support as well," he added.

President Barack Obama honored the day with a speech at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, promising not to send soldiers back to war without a clear need.

"After a decade under the dark cloud of war, we can see the light of a new day on the horizon," he said.

"I can promise you I will never [send troops to war] unless it is absolutely necessary and that when we do, we must give our troops a clear mission and the full support of a grateful nation."

(with Reuters)

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