Mayor Bloomberg: No NYC Parade for Iraq War Vets

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said there are no plans for a parade for Iraq War veterans in the near future because of objections voiced by military officials.

The mayor said on Friday that Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Martin Dempsey and other Army officials "made it clear" to the city "they do not think a parade is appropriate now." He added that officials said a parade would be "premature while we still have so many troops in harm's way around the world."

A Pentagon spokesman in December said New York City had yet to make a formal proposal for a parade. He said officials were grateful communities were finding ways to recognize the sacrifices of troops and their families.

A big welcome home parade for veterans, however, will take place in St. Louis on Saturday. Two friends sought donations, launched a facebook page and met with city officials to stage the parade.

"It struck me that there was this debate going on as to whether there should or shouldn't be a parade," said Tom Appelbaum, one of the organizers. "Instead of waiting around for somebody somewhere to say, 'Yes, let's have a parade,' we said, 'Let's just do it.'"

Since the end of the latest war in Iraq, there have only been small events at military posts, gatherings of families at airports and a low-key appearance by President Barack Obama at Fort Bragg, N.C., a base that endured more than 200 deaths from fighting in the war.

With the Associated Press