Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who has long expressed his regret that the United States did not do a better job honoring veterans of the Vietnam War in the 1970s, has cited advice from the Pentagon in deciding it was not appropriate to hold a parade while American soldiers are still fighting in Afghanistan.
But a growing coalition of veterans, elected officials and other public figures are disagreeing, saying it is time to celebrate the men and women who served in Iraq.
Leslie H. Gelb, the president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations, a former correspondent for The New York Times and a board member of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, called the Pentagon’s position “supercilious sensitivity” and “Washington-think.”…
Adam J. Berinsky, an associate professor of political science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the author of “In Time of War: Understanding American Public Opinion From World War II to Iraq,” said military leaders could be worried about a public relations gaffe. He recalled former President George W. Bush’s “Mission Accomplished” speech on May 1, 2003, in which Mr. Bush declared major combat operations in Iraq to be over.
“I’m sure that the military is very sensitive to that,” Dr. Berinsky said. “If we’re going to have a celebration for the end of the war, let’s make sure that we actually have an end of the war.”