Those reasons include that there has been a “soft” and gradual official end to the war earlier this month, that our war continues in Afghanistan and that the war on terror appears never-ending.
President Obama led a somber ceremony at Fort Bragg in North Carolina to commemorate the official end of the war, and there have been homecoming celebrations for troops at bases around the country, but one grand event has not been staged and is not in the offing. There certainly hasn’t been anything nearing the tickertape parades that greeted returning and returned troops at the end of World War II and the first Gulf War, which warmed the hearts of veterans and millions of Americans.
Not that there haven’t been offers. Two New York congressmen have suggested putting on a major extravaganza in New York City. City officials have said they would be willing to cooperate and just need the thumbs up from the federal government. We think there probably is nearly a national consensus that a big parade for Iraq war veterans would be a beautiful thing.
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We hate to see such a matter politicized, but that is exactly what is happening. The Obama administration, inexplicably in an election year, has not started the ball rolling, and Obama opponents are rightly jumping on that lack of action. A parade seems a relatively simple thing, and expenses likely could be covered by private donations, as has been the case in the past.
The good thing is our troops face little to no resentment or anger from the American populace upon returning from the wars in the Middle East. They certainly are not encountering the ugly, heartbreaking homecoming many Vietnam veterans faced. Generally, our veterans returning from the Middle East are hailed as heroes.
Still, those heroes deserve a collective national embrace, and a big tickertape parade in New York City just might do the trick.
No big national welcome planned for returning troops.
These heroes deserve a national embrace.
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