Over 1,000 Veterans Expected to March in St. Louis Parade For Iraq War Vets Saturday


Tonight at the St. Louis Soldier’s Memorial volunteers read the names of US heroes who made ultimate sacrifice in Iraq. Despite the cold and rain a couple of hundred people turned out for the service that started at 9:11 PM CST.

Saturday:
Welcome Home the Heroes
Parade Starts at NOON January 28th, 2012
For parade route please click here
Veterans Resource Village will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. inside Union Station
Live entertainment at Veterans Resource Village from 3 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Organizer Craig Schneider says this is for the whole country.

Over 1,000 veterans and their families are expected to march in the St. Louis Iraq War Vets parade tomorrow in downtown St. Louis. The parade is expected to include over 80 floats and the hometown Budweiser Clydesdales.
Reuters reported, via Pat Dollard:

At least 1,000 Iraq War veterans and their family members are expected to march in St. Louis on Saturday in the nation’s first major homecoming parade honoring U.S. soldiers who served in the war, a coalition of veteran groups, private citizens and local officials said.

Since the last troops left Iraq in December there have been scattered small events, including a speech by President Barack Obama at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, thanking veterans for their service, but no major parade of the style seen at the end of World War One and World War Two.

Organizers said the downtown St. Louis parade was being run by a non-profit veteran group and several residents disturbed by the lack of a major pomp-and-circumstance homecoming for troops. They raised nearly $30,000 by Friday for the event.

“We thought that if we can have a victory parade for the Cardinals World Series victory, we certainly should be able to have one for the vets of Iraq,” said St. Louis attorney Tom Appelbaum, who helped get the plans underway a month ago.

“It seems silly that there was a national debate about it,” he added.

Veterans from the Iraq or Afghanistan wars may march with their families in the parade, expected to feature 83 floats, the hometown Budweiser Clydesdales, high school marching bands and units from police and fire departments, organizers said.

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