He smiled, kissed a few babies and shook a few hands along the route.
Senator Charles Schumer, Representative Anthony Weiner, Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer and City Councilman Joseph Addabbo walked the entire route.
Senator Hillary Clinton, who was invited and was expected to attend, did not show up.
Bloomberg addressed the recent tragedies with the press prior to the march.
"We have lost an enormous number of firefighters and police officers. We have had a terrible air tragedy, American Airlines Flight 587 here," Bloomberg said, pointing to the damage on Beach 130 Street. "But this community still soldiers on, that that's what New York is all about."
Some locals agree.
"This parade will bring us together, especially after September 11 and flight 587," one resident supporting a tot on his shoulders told a Wave reporter. "This is certainly a bright spot in a year that has not seen many bright spots for this community."
Not everybody agreed, however. One resident, who lives nearby the start of the parade route, complained that the line of march should not have been nearby where so many died on November 12.
"It was insensitive to the community to bring the parade so near the crash site," that person said.
The parade was preceded by a mass at St. Francis de Sales Church and by an invitation-only breakfast for honorees at the Beach Club on Beach 116 Street.
Attending the meeting were many of the dignitaries who were later honored as parade marshals. In addition, the family of James Conway Sullivan his mother Rosemary, his sister and his brother, unveiled a banner dedicating the parade to his name. That banner was later used to lead the parade down Rockaway streets.
Also in attendance were a number of Irish firefighters and EMT's, as well as Jim Mulroy, the Mayor of Draghoda, Ireland.
"This was the best parade ever," committee Beverly Baxter said. "It is even better because it honored Jimmy Sullivan. He would have been proud."