NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – With all the focus on the ticker-tape parade for the Super Bowl champion New York Giants, former Mayor Ed Koch is calling for the city to honor Iraq War veterans with a “Canyon of Heroes” celebration.
“New York City should hold a parade for the veterans of Iraq, just as we held one when I was mayor for the veterans of Vietnam,” Koch told 1010 WINS.
The Pentagon has asked the city not to hold a parade while American soldiers are still fighting in Afghanistan.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg agreed and decided to hold off on a parade honoring U.S. troops on the recommendation of the Pentagon.
“Those who say you should wait until the war in Afghanistan is over and have one parade for the two wars in my judgment are wrong,” Koch said. “The war in Afghanistan goes on, we don’t know for how long.”
Koch believes it is up to the city to green light a parade.
“The Pentagon did not want to leave Iraq, they wanted to stay there. We’re out of Iraq because the Iraqi asked us to leave,” Koch said. “I wouldn’t depend on the Pentagon to make the decision for when there should be a parade, that is up to New York City.”
In December, Staten Island councilmen Vincent Ignizio and James Oddo also called on the city to honor veterans with a parade through the Canyon of Heroes.
After the first Gulf War the city honored the men and women who fought there with a parade. The parade cost the city $5.2 million, most of which was covered by private donations.
Ignizio and James Oddo said the same thing should be done for those who participated in “Operation: Iraqi Freedom.”
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