NEW YORK — Americans marked Veterans Day on Tuesday with parades, speeches and military discounts, while in Europe the holiday known as Armistice Day held special meaning in the centennial year of the start of World War I.

Thousands of veterans and their supporters marched up Fifth Avenue in New York, home to the nation’s oldest Veterans Day parade.

At 11 a.m. – the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month – a solemn hush fell over Manhattan’s Madison Square Park as veterans laid wreaths under the Eternal Light Monument to honor the fallen.

Former New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, who was a Marine lieutenant, served as grand marshal.

“I learned everything I know about leadership from my military service,” Kelly said.

The parade featured a float carrying rapper Ice-T, who is an Army veteran, plus six military dogs and their handlers.

Maylee Borg, 40, of Staten Island, said she brought her two daughters to show them “that we should support our veterans, because they supported us.”

Across the country, many celebrations were unique, such as in Washington, D.C., where Bruce Springsteen, Rihanna, Eminem and Metallica were among the headliners for a free concert on the National Mall to raise awareness for issues affecting veterans. The first-of-its-kind Concert for Valor was spearheaded by Starbucks president Howard Schultz.

In Ohio, state officials remind ed Iraq war veterans that time is running out to claim bonuses of up to $1,500. Ohio voters in 2009 approved a $200 million bond issue to fund bonuses for veterans of the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan and Iraq war eras.

Massachusetts marked Veterans Day with commemorations around the state including a parade in Boston in which gay and transgender veterans were taking part for the first time. A new group called OutVets marched in the downtown parade.

Gov. Deval Patrick and other top officials gathered earlier at the Statehouse to express “gratitude, pride and support.”

And in Philadelphia, comedian Bill Cosby urged hundreds in attendance to “call out the name of someone who left their life for us” and remember those who died for their country.

Cosby told a crowd in front of the All Wars Memorial to Colored Soldiers and Sailors that “we don’t forget about ours.”