Nightly News | November 22, 2012
>>> good evening, and happy thanksgiving, i'm kate snow , in for brian tonight. on this holiday that began as a celebration of the harvest and has evolved to include a whole lot of football, and now even shopping. a lot of americans seemed happy to pause today and be thankful for what they have. that may be very true especially here in the northeast, where it has been just over three weeks since superstorm sandy did so much damage. today, new york hosted the biggest public event since that storm battered the city. the annual macy's thanksgiving day parade . the skies were blue, the crowds poured in. nbc's katy tur has more to kick off the thanksgiving coverage, good evening, kate.
>> reporter: good evening, kate, in the 86th year of the parade you couldn't have asked for a better day . they're saying three million people came out here for the excitement. many of those hit hardest by the storm. and all of those looking for a chance to focus on the happiest of the traditions. marching bands on the ground. kung fu panda up above, and a sea of people around. so is this the best way to spend thanksgiving?
>> this is, yeah.
>> reporter: here in new york, where the after math of superstorm sandy is still being felt, those along the parade route say the spirit of the season was just what they needed.
>> i think that sandy helped people in general realize how precious life is and to be more grateful, and more thankful.
>> reporter: elsewhere, across the country americans were in to giving mood. theaters like the salvation army are looking after those less fortunate. and in the nation's capitol, president obama is spending the day with family and friends and staff at the white house .
>> today, we give thanks for blessings that are all too rare in this world. the ability to spend time with the ones we love. to say what we want, to worship as we please, to know that there are brave men and women defending our freedom around the globe.
>> reporter: they tweeted out this photo, asking those to take a moment to remember those who are not at home with loved ones . and on base, many made time for a little pig skin before the big event.
>> it just blew me away to see this.
>> reporter: back in the states, matt airhart got home just in time for the birth of his son, gunnar.
>> it was amazing, i couldn't ask for a better birthday for our son.
>> reporter: and at the parade, so many just thankful for all that they have.
>> happy thanksgiving.
>> reporter: and all of those they have to share it with. macy's saved a special secti for those most affected by storm. they got front-row seats, the best in the house for some of the best the city has to offer.