Parade participants included NASCAR driver Brad Keselowski, a 28-year-old Rochester Hills native and the first Michigan-born driver to win the Sprint Cup Series.
In San Francisco, lines of the homeless and less fortunate began forming late Wednesday outside a church in the city's tough Tenderloin district that expected to serve more than 5,000 meals, said the Rev. Cecil Williams.
"We must make sure people can overcome all adversities," Williams said. "You can, you will and you must."
On New York City's Rockaway Peninsula, convenience store owner Mohamed Razack said he was able to open again Wednesday for the first time since the storm.
"At first, I was very depressed, but now, I'm proud," said Mohamed Razack, 50. "We are the first store to open around here."
AP radio correspondent Julie Walker, AP video journalist Ted Shaffrey and Associated Press writers Kiley Armstrong and Karen Matthews in New York, Alison Barnwell on Long Island, Bruce Shipkowski in New Jersey and Terry Collins in San Francisco contributed to this report.