NEW YORK CITY - Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) on Sunday called on the Department of Defense to worth with New York City to hold a ticker tape-style parade and welcome home celebration for Iraq and Afghanistan war vets.
"With the war in Afghanistan winding down, now is the time to keep with long-standing American tradition and kick off a campaign for the first New York City welcome home parade for troops that served in Iraq and Afghanistan," Schumer said at a press conference held Sunday with members of several veterans' groups.
"In years past, we've honored our troops with a parade along the iconic 'Canyon of Heroes' route and those who served in these post-9-11 wars also deserve a hero's welcome – and New York is the only place to do that."
The press conference was conducted along the historic parade route in lower Manhattan.
Schumer pointed out that the President has said that combat operations in Afghanistan will be over by end of 2014 and the Iraq War officially ended in 2011, yet there has been no welcome parade down Broadway as in years past to celebrate the end of hostilities.
New York City held a ticker-tape parade in 1946 following the end of World War II. In fact, several ticker-tape parades were held during WWII to honor the troops while generals and admirals continued fighting. Ten years after the Vietnam War ended, New York City held a parade honoring those vets in 1985. In 1991, the U.S. threw a victory parade for Gulf War veterans.
The Department of Defense decides whether organizer requests for parades can have DOD participation. In 2012, the Pentagon said that it was too early for a New York City parade because the Afghanistan mission was not nearing completion. Schumer said now is the time to start planning a post-9/11 parade.