St. Louis to Honor Troops with Welcome Home Parade

St. Louis is set to be the first city to hold a parade to welcome our service members who served in Iraq home.

The parade, which starts at noon, will take place on Jan. 28. The mile-long route will start at Kiener Plaza and end at Union Station. The organizers have also set up a Veterans Resource Village inside Union Station. The resource center will be open from 11 am to 5 pm.

“We encourage St. Louis to turn out in droves in the same way we turned out for the World Series Champion Cardinals Victory Parade,” event organizer Craig Schneider said. “We understand this is quite an undertaking, but the entire St. Louis community, including our youngest residents, are coming together to help make this parade an amazing success.”

Veterans who are interested in walking in the parade can find an application at the organization’s website. There is also additional information available at the event’s Facebook page.

It has long been tradition for troops coming home from war to be greeted with parades in the nation’s major cities. But troops who returned home from Iraq just before Christmas weren’t met with ticker tape and cheering crowds. At the moment, the governments of major American cities like New York City and Washington, D.C., have no plans to stage parades as they have in the past.

While some, citing the fact that troops are still fighting in Afghanistan, think such a welcome home celebration would be premature, in St. Louis, our troops will be receiving the welcome home they deserve.

Schneider discussed the parade and why he started the grassroots effort on the Rachel Maddow Show.

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