Thanksgiving celebrations across the country

Photo from NBC NATIONAL NEWS
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Friday, November 29, 2013 - 8:00am

The colorful floats and high flying balloons of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade helped millions of Americans start their morning in the holiday spirit.

By the afternoon, families were loading their plates with turkey, stuffing and potatoes.

And giving thanks for time together.

For many, today was also an opportunity to serve their communities.

Volunteers in Charlotte, North Carolina prepared to treat the homeless to a bit of luxury, a dinner served on tables with white table clothes.

At Washington, DC's Food and Friends they are preparing nearly 900 turkey meals to people in need.

"Just keep it moving, keep it moving." says one of the many cooks.

Andrew Jones,a Food and Friends client, is relying on the non profit to feed his family this holiday.

"For a person living on disability you are kind of robbing Peter to pay Paul so to get a meal for four my god, its phenomenal." says Jones

Far away at Camp Eggers in Afghanistan American troops also enjoyed some of the Thanksgiving comforts of home.

In a special address, President Obama thanked them for their sacrifice.

"We give thanks for all our men and women in uniform." said President Obama.

Bare shelves lined stores in Michigan that opened ahead of Black Friday to entice shoppers eager for the holiday deals.

And in Georgia and Indiana shoppers were all business.

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