Today the city of St. Louis is having a parade to honor all post 9/11 veterans, but it hasn’t come about without some controversy.
In a gesture to honor those who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, some say it dishonors those who are still in the fight overseas. Still others complain that the parade might appear to some as being a “Victory Parade”.
Despite the grumbling, the city of St. Louis and the parade’s organizers plan to add some fanfare to mark the end of Operation Iraqi Freedom with not only a parade of floats and marching bands but a Veterans’ Village where returning vets can get information on services available to them for their life after war.
Tom Applebaum, one of the event’s coordinators, spoke last night on National Public Radio saying this was the best way he knew how to honor the post 9/11 veterans and “close the book” on the war in Iraq.
“It’s significant that this is strictly a grassroots effort, and coming out of the heartland of the U.S., I think it really says something,” he said.
The event will include the reading of every American troop who has been killed in both wars to date; all 6,502 of them. The Reading of the Fallen began last night at 9:11 pm and was expected to take a full 12 hours.
The last U.S. fighting forces exited Iraq midnight December 31, 2011. The fight continues in Afghanistan.
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