Since I wrote my "letter" to Mayor Rahm (below) about an Iraq War Vet Parade, on December 28, 2011, St. Louis has held a parade for Iraq War Vets, and supposedly nineteen other cities are thinking of having a parade, including Chicago, according to MSNBC.
Also, since I wrote Mayor Rahm has okayed restarting the South-Side Irish Parade, which I want to remind readers, started with a couple of women pushing their children down Western Avenue in buggies.
St. Louis is an okay city. It has a downtown that is a wreck, and the state of Missouri didn't know which way it wanted to go in the Civil War; yet St. Louis has a parade for Iraq Vets and Chicago, the only city that welcomed Vietnam Vets back (a decade plus after the war ended).
Who are the people in Chicago who are supposedly pushing for this parade? It's a pretty silent push, but then again, trying to get a parade sanctioned that does not involve puking teenagers from New Lenox and Lockport and Joliet, or coddling the Occupy protesters, is not a high priority with our new "reform" mayor.
Maybe we need a few brave women with some flags to step off on Michigan Avenue?
My letter below....
Dear Mayor Emanuel,
Let's have a parade. A big parade. An historical parade. A parade that will honer those who really deserve it.
On June 13, 1986, Chicago had a big parade. Probably the largest of its kind. It was a long time in coming. You can read the Trib article.
Chicago stepped up and had the official "Welcome Home" parade for the many thousands of Vietnam Veterans who never had anybody in any governmental body, or its citizens, for that matter, say "Thank you" in any meaningful way.
It was a big event.
Some 200,000 Vietnam Veterans and their families took part, marching through the Loop, wearing the remainders of their uniforms, while 300,000 people looked on. A rare day for Chicago and one of its proudest. Chicago went where other cities did not.
It was a day for tears and for rejoicing. And remembering.
I was there. Were you there, Mayor Emanuel?
I was one of the 300,000 watching.
Another year older or so and I might have been marching -- had I survived. Or not been injured.
Your old boss, President Barrack Obama, does not seem to want to honor the many thousands of Iraq War Veterans. New York does not want a parade, apparently. Haven't heard of any other place wanting one, either.
Chicago has parades for Italians, for Irish, for Polish, for African Americans, for Lesbian and Gay Pride -- for...you name it: for pretty pink pooches, probably. How about a parade for our neighbors, our friends, our sons and our daughters? How about a parade for the fallen, those who lived down the block or went to the same church?
Mayor Emanuel, don't let it be said that Chicago didn't step up where other cities didn't. Do we have to wait for Washington DC? Does every damned thing have to wait for Washington?
Do these Iraq soldiers have to wait a decade or more to hear "Thank you"?
Think about it.
Then, do it!