Juliette Kayyem

Let parades greet our Iraq vets

LAST NIGHT, the White House hosted a formal dinner in honor of Iraq veterans, inviting 200 soldiers and their spouses from all 50 states. It was an opportunity to give thanks. But it wasn’t enough.

The complicated ending to the Iraq war has generated an impassioned debate about how we ought to celebrate the soldiers returning home. Localities throughout the nation have organized parades, but the Pentagon has balked at the notion of a national celebration and a Times Square event. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has deferred to the Pentagon’s concern that the events are premature because we still have troops in harm’s way in Afghanistan, and a big party could be viewed by Afghans as triumphalist.

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