Jumaane WIlliams

It’s no longer about the Super Bowl or World Series fanatics – New York City leaders want real American champions to parade down the Canyon of Heroes.

Southern Brooklyn representatives united in favor of a new resolution that urges the mayor to produce a ticker-tape parade for the veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Council Member Jumaane D. Williams, of District 45, introduced the resolution to give the war veterans a welcome home they rightfully deserve.

Williams’ resolution says the city is passing on an opportunity to uphold tradition and honor the bravest among us.

“Sports champions and near champions, celebrities, foreign dignitaries and veterans of wars and conflicts in World War I and II, Korea, Vietnam and the first Gulf War, have all marched down Broadway to a cheering crowd and skies full of ticker-tape, confetti, paper streams and the like,” the resolution states.

Councilmembers representing Sheepshead Bay and other Southern Brooklyn neighborhoods agree.

“I have co-sponsored Councilman Williams’ resolution, and am proud to have done so,” said Councilman Lew Fidler. “I have been calling upon the Mayor to have this parade for some time.”

Other’s felt this was long overdue. “I cannot think of a group that is more deserving of being honored with a parade down the Canyon of Heroes than the veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Councilman David G. Greenfield. “We owe our freedom to these brave men and women and they deserve to be recognized and thanked for their service.”

Councilman Vincent J. Gentile, representing Bay Ridge and parts of Bensonhurst, also agreed with Williams – stating priorities must be changed. Gentile stated sports teams are honored at large every year, but veterans do not receive the welcome home they deserve.

“Are [veterans] not the real giants here?” said Gentile. “Not only is it the right thing to do and it’s the least we can do for these brave men and women to honor the sacrifices they’ve made to protect our freedom abroad.”

Domenic M. Recchia Jr., the councilman for Coney Island and Gravesend, stated he supported Councilman William’s proposition “100 percent.”

With all of the positive feedback and support from local Council Members, Williams said it is now up to the mayor to make the right choice.

“A number of my colleagues, including Speaker Quinn, have expressed support for a ticker-tape parade in the past,” Williams told Sheepshead Bites. “I hope they all decide to rally behind this legislation so we can send a strong message of support to our veterans and that Mayor Bloomberg will put politics aside to do what’s right.”

The mayor is opposed to the parade, agreeing with Pentagon officials who say New York City should wait until all veterans have returned safely.

Councilman Michael Nelson acknowledged the timing issue but agreed with Williams’ resolution whole-heartedly.

“While the Pentagon may reason that it is premature to pay tribute to the veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, I firmly stand alongside Councilman Williams and many New Yorkers who feel otherwise,” said Nelson. “I certainly cannot think of a more fitting way to acknowledge our most worthy heroes, these brave veterans, than by celebrating our pride ‘New York City style’ – with a ticker-tape parade in their honor.”

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  • BrightonResident

    When ALL the Troops and private “contractors”  ahve been brought home from Irag and Afganistan, then maybe we should hold a parade.  How do you have a welcome home parade in the middle of a war???  Bring the Troops home NOW!

    • levp

      CNN: “Vets ask: Time for an Iraq war parade?”

      “Without a doubt there should be one,” said Jim Lynch, who said his brother Scott was killed in Afghanistan. “They deserve it.”
      [...]
      Lynch disagreed with the suggestion that a parade might be premature.”What’s too early? How many people gotta die before it’s too early?”

      In St. Louis, Missouri, organizers were not going to wait. They threw a parade honoring Iraq veterans on January 28 that drew thousands, and other cities may follow suit.
      http://articles.cnn.com/2012-02-07/us/us_new-york-veterans_1_giants-parade-parade-route-iraq-war?_s=PM:US

      Or, in small town of Media, PA:”Group plans massive ‘welcome home’ party in Media for vets who served in Iraq & Afghanistan”

      While New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg was discouraged by Pentagon officials from staging a parade honoring Iraq War veterans because troops are still fighting in Afghanistan, McMahon and Dimond believe there is no time like the present to pay tribute to all veterans who have served in the last 11 years.

      “You should show appreciation no matter how many parades you have to have,” said Dimond, an Army veteran of the Korean War whose son, Joe Dimond, is a Marine Corps veteran of Iraq.
      http://www.delcotimes.com/articles/2012/04/22/news/doc4f936e7eae5b6424842040.txt?viewmode=fullstory

    • Barkingspider07

      I like the way you think!  Yes, all of the veterans definitely deserve a parade – a big one, with a huge BBQ afterwards, and lots of thank you’s!  I didn’t mean to post this comment at the beginning.

  • Dicesmom1

    I agree with you BrightonResident 125%. Having a parade now would be such a slap in the face to all of our servicemen and women who would still be left in Iraq and Afghanistan.  They think that they are forgotten as it is and for this to happen without ALL OF THEM would be the most heinous of acts. We need them all home NOW and then they can all come up the Canyon of Heroes together.

    • levp

      In fact, on June 10th, 1945, just a month after the end of the conflict in Europe, New York City held a ticker-tape parade for General Dwight D. Eisenhower while the conflict in the Pacific still raged.

      It was the first time that type of event had occurred in the city since 1939. A parade honoring “the troops” wasn’t held until 1946 when the 82nd Airborne Division marched down Broadway, but that was likely due to the logistical realities of bringing forces home from Europe and the Pacific in the 1940s.

      If it was acceptable to celebrate the Supreme Allied Commander Of The Allied Expeditionary Force while men were still in harm’s way in the Pacific, then why can’t we do the same thing for Iraq War Vets, who are pretty much all back in the United States now?

      (quoted from http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/a-parade-for-iraq-war-vets/

  • Stan_LS

    Dicesmom1, a parade is a show of support for the military – here or abroad.

  • Tinman

    I like the resolution, but it seems to be a bit of grandstanding in an election year. However, I wholeheartedly concur with the mayor agreeing with Pentagon officials who say New York City should wait until all veterans have returned safely. 

  • http://kibblesbits.wordpress.com/ Ann

    For the safety and security of those still overseas, let’s hold off. After all, it is supposed to be about the vets, NOT the politicians.  Do what is best for the vets.  Just because you have guilt about people going away and risking their lives on your behalf, doesn’t mean this is the best way to get rid of it. Think of your motives for having such a parade. Is it because you want to act like a patriot and put on a show for yourself? 

  • Dicesmom1

    Stan, I know what a parade is and it should be here, not abroad and with us supporting all, not some.

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  • Barkingspider07

    I like the way you think!  Yes, all of the veterans definitely deserve a parade – a big one, with a huge BBQ afterwards, and lots of thank you’s!