THOMASVILLE, N.C. -- Gov. Pat McCrory made what is normally a special day in Thomasville even more special by becoming the first acting governor to lead the annual Memorial Day parade.
"This is the best of America right here in Thomasville," said McCrory. "This is the best of North Carolina here in Thomasville."
McCrory grew up in Jamestown and went to Ragsdale High School, a rival of Thomasville.
After the parade, McCrory met with families of fallen service members.
"They're hurting for us and they're hurting for our country and that's why we have this Memorial Day, so we'll never forget those who have just lost their lives and those of past generations who have lost their lives," said McCrory.
Thomasville is home to what's called the largest parade in the state.
Some repeat visitors said there's a sense that the whole town is turning out to salute veterans and honor Memorial Day.
"I've been coming here I don't know eight to 10 years," said Cliff Hooper, an Army veteran from Oak Ridge. "This is the best town in North Carolina -- in the world to me. It's great."