Sen. Chuck Schumer argued over the weekend that veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars deserve walk down lower Manhattan’s Canyon of Heroes.
The Associated Press reported on Saturday that Schumer petitioned the Department of Defense to sign off on a parade for the veterans with the wars in Iraq having ended in 2011 and troops in Afghanistan expected to withdraw later in 2014.
For decades, the stretch of Broad way between Bowling Green and City Hall parks saw ticker tape parades for soldiers returning from a number of wars, from World War I to the first Gulf War.
Parades have also been held for nonmilitary events, such as dignitary visits, Olympic teams and after the moon landing.
However, since 1999, the downtown streets have only been closed off for victorious local sports teams, including the 2012 parade for the Giants after their Super Bowl win.
Back in 2011, then Mayor Michael Bloomberg talked with Pentagon officials on a parade honoring the veterans after the country’s withdrawal form Iraq.
Soon after, Bloomberg said he was told that a parade would be “premature.”
Like his successor, Mayor Bill de Blasio wants to bring the parade to Broadway. On Sunday, de Blasio released a statement in support of Schumer’s request, adding that “New York City would be proud to host this important event.”
“The brave men and women who have selflessly served our nation with courage and skill in Iraq and Afghanistan deserve a recognition for their sacrifice,” the mayor added.
Follow Chester Jesus Soria on Twitter@chestersoria