Sacramento Hometown Heroes Honored with Parade, Key to the City

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SACRAMENTO--

It was a hero’s welcome along the Capitol Mall Friday, for the three Sacramento natives who tackled a suspected terrorist last month in France.

Thousands waved flags for Alek Skarlatos, Spencer Stone and Anthony Sadler. The Sacramento Police Department estimated attendance to be around 10,000.

The young men stood proudly and humbly as they made their way towards the capitol.

When FOX40 asked Sadler how he was feeling, he said “amazing.”

Mayor Kevin Johnson rode along with the heroes' families.

“They're humble and they're emotional and look at this turnout, only in Sacramento," said Mayor Johnson.

One Carmichael resident said he is inspired by the bravery of the three young men who were raised in his neighborhood.

“[Seeing] the guys coming right now, I’ve already got cold chills on my arm it’s just a neat, neat experience to be right here,” he said.

Being right there, in the middle of it all was even more enjoyable thanks to mother nature.

"Oh, yeah, the weather is very good,” spectator Shankar Padhi said, despite.

Another spectator came with her young son.

"I wanted to bring my son to see it because he wants to be a police officer he’s only four so I thought it would be pretty awesome for him to see a piece of history and what a real hero is, not superman or batman its these guys!” said Anna Williamson.

Police lined the parade route to protect the men who have become heroes and role models to the world.

After the parade, the three men took the stage on the west steps of the State Capitol.

"The actions sent a message. It was a statement. What did it say? It said that we will not succumb to the barbaric acts of terrorism," said Major Kevin Johnson said from the stage.

U.S. Air Man First Class Stone nearly had his thumb cut off as he and his friends wrangled Ayoub El Khazzani.

But, after three weeks of healing and international hype the group seems to be settling in to their place in the spotlight.

Stone danced a little for the local crowd.

Skarlatos soaked in the moment on stage with a selfie - maybe to share with his National Guard buddies.

And no special treatment for the Sacramento State Hornet, as he tried like every body else to get a chance to see and hear Sac State senior Sadler.

"We've been all around the world in these past couple weeks, but I just want you all to know all the thanks we've received everywhere doesn't feel anything in comparison to being in front of our ome crowd like this," said Sadler.

"We've never gotten a reception like this. This has absolutely been unreal and fantastic and thank you all again..thank you," said Skarlatos.

"I don't even know what to say. We all love you. We love Sacramento," said Stone.

Letting their actions make the loudest statement, their words at the podium were few, but many here believe the legacy of this trio's behavior will speak throughout history.