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Sacramento Honors Heroes With A Parade

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

The three honorees in the Hometown Heroes parade, left to right, Alek Skarlatos, Spencer Stone and Anthony Sadler.

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Thousands of people lined the streets of Sacramento to cheer three native-sons-turned-internationally-known heroes for their actions aboard a French train last month.

Today Alek Skarlatos, Spencer Stone and Anthony Sadler rode on a red, white, and blue float that also carried a replica of the Statue of Liberty.

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The crowd waved American flags, took cell-phone pictures and cheered.

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Cannons along the route fired confetti into the air.

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All said the attention was a bit overwhelming. Stone said he hopes their actions will help others summon courage when needed.

"Any thoughts about how you're going to use this positively going forward to do good? Hopefully just motivate people to do the same things in the future so things like that can stop happening."

The families led the parade in a variety of vehicles, including one that carried Mayor Kevin Johnson.

When they reached the Capitol, Johnson presented them keys to the city and proclamations from the State Senate.  All of them including Sadler paid tribute to the people who died during the September 11 terrorist attacks.

"It's kind of surreal for us," said Sadler. "All the brave people that did their thing on September 11th and we just wanted to take the time to remember that and I just want to appreciate and thank everyone in Sacramento for coming out today. Thank you."

People like Tim Jaekel found spots along the parade route hours before it began. He says it was important to attend.

"It's 9-11 and I think people still think about it, but it's not at the forefront of their minds anymore. To have three amazing Sacramento boys do something like that in France and save all those people from a terrorist on a train brings it right back home."

The three men disarmed a man who opened fire aboard a train August 21. Stone was injured, but says he hopes to have his bandages off soon.