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Thanking Iraq veterans: Portsmouth leads the way
The City of Portsmouth did something on Sunday that every community in America should do. It held a “welcome home” parade for Iraq war veterans.
The war officially ended last December. Did you notice? Most Americans probably read about it in the papers or saw it announced on television, and then went about their lives. The ticker-tape parades and huge welcome-home rallies were few. Veterans just got off the planes and went back to their families, as if nothing special had happened.
We Americans still think of war as having definite starting points and end points. That might not be the case anymore, particularly when Congress shirks its constitutional duty and cedes all war-related powers to the President. And so our men and women return from combat, leave the service and go about their lives, never having been properly thanked for their service by a grateful if somewhat confused public.
Portsmouth showed other towns and cities that saying thanks can be done anytime and need not be reserved for Veterans Day or Memorial Day or an official declaration from Congress or the President. We hope others will follow their lead.
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