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January 28, 2012

100,000 Attend Nation's First 'Welcome Home' Parade for Iraq War Veterans

Glad they did this.

"It's not necessarily overdue, it's just the right thing," said Radford, a 23-year Army veteran who walked in the parade alongside his 8-year-old daughter, Aimee, and 12-year-old son, Warren.

Radford was among about 600 hundred veterans, many dressed in camouflage, who walked along downtown streets lined with rows of people clapping and holding signs with messages including "Welcome Home" and "Thanks to our Service Men and Women." Some of the war-tested troops wiped away tears as they acknowledged the support from a crowd that organizers estimated reached 100,000 people.

Fire trucks with aerial ladders hoisted huge American flags in three different places along the route, with politicians, marching bands - even the Budweiser Clydesdales - joining in. But the large crowd was clearly there to salute men and women in the military, and people cheered wildly as groups of veterans walked by.

Nice.

Related enough: The Tenth Circuit ruled yesterday (PDF) that the Stolen Valor Act is constitutional. The Ninth Circuit went the other way last year, holding that lying about military service is speech protected under the First Amendment. The Supreme Court will ultimately decide the issue later this year.


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posted by Gabriel Malor at 06:33 PM

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