Hundreds attended a ceremony at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum on Manhattan's West Side.
Veterans and active service members unraveled a 100-foot American flag and laid four ceremonial wreaths. Mayor Bill de Blasio was among the speakers.
The mayor pointed out that New York City is home to over half a million service members, former service members and their families.
Among those laying the ceremonial wreaths was 102-year-old WWII veteran Lt. Col. Richard Cole. He is the last of the Doolittle Raiders, a group of men who took part in the April 18, 1942, strike against mainland Japanese targets.
The event coincided with New York City's Fleet Week, giving New Yorkers the chance to meet more than 2,000 sailors who protect the world's waterways.
In Westchester County, thousands turned out for Chappaqua's Memorial Day parade. Gov. Andrew Cuomo joined service members and veterans, paying tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Former President Bill Clinton and former first lady Hillary Clinton were among those marching in the parade.
In Queens, the day was commemorated with the 91st annual Little Neck-Douglaston Memorial Day Parade.
It's considered one of the largest Memorial Day parades in the nation.
Brooklyn also paid tribute to those who fought for their country, with the 151st Memorial Day Parade honoring veterans from the borough.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
* More Manhattan news
* Send us a news tip
* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts