For the first time since WWII ended, America held a parade to celebrate the efforts of our soldiers in a war and welcome them home. Last Saturday, St. Louis earned the distinction of being the first city in the country to hold a parade to welcome back troops from the Iraq War.
Two friends from our fair city had the idea to hold a celebration for those returning from the war. Through the use of Facebook, this welcome home parade came to fruition. The Mission Continues, the nation’s only nonprofit organization that helps post-9/11 soldiers with volunteer efforts in their community, and the Welcome Home Organization funded this event.
The Journal commends the efforts of those who volunteered with the event and, as always, those who serve in our nation’s military. War is a tumultuous time for any country involved, and those who pledge to serve deserve our thanks as free citizens.
Nearly 100,000 people watched the parade downtown. Flags waved, tears were shed and cheers were given to the 600 members of the armed forces who took part in the event.
Since our army’s deployment to Iraq in March of 2003, 6,502 service men and women gave their lives in this war. The Journal gives our condolences to the families of these soldiers who were not able to see this parade.
But will war ever end? This is not a perfect world, and we are not a perfect race. Conflicts will still arise. Though this parade honors the return of the Iraq War veterans, there are still approximately 91,000 troops in Afghanistan. By the end of 2012, 50,000 should return home.
The Journal would once again like to welcome home our service men and women, and ask for continuing support to those still fighting for our freedom. Not everyone supports war, but we should all thank those who choose to defend America.