By Jay Kirell
Mr. de Blasio,
My name is Jason Kirell and I’m writing to you to today because even though I live on Long Island, and am incapable of casting a vote for you, I believe you’re going to be the next mayor of New York City.
As mayor, I believe you’ll have the power to do a great many things that will benefit not only those who live in the five boroughs, but many across America as well.
Among those I speak of are our veterans of the wars in Iraq – which is over, and Afghanistan, which will be over a few months after you take office.
By 2014 these returning veterans, who have left or will soon be leaving the service to pursue lives and careers in communities across the country, deserve more than our thanks and appreciation.
They deserve to know their wars are over and America welcomes them home to start their new lives.
I ask you, sir, as a veteran of the longest war in American history, commission an official ticker-tape parade down NYC’s Canyon of Heroes – coordinate it with every veteran’s group in the country as well as the Veteran’s Administration.
In 2012 New York City threw a ticker-tape parade (that millions came out to watch) to honor the 53 people that comprised the New York Giants football team that won the Super Bowl.
Aren’t the estimated 1.7 million veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan – the men and women who sacrificed months and years of their lives because their nation asked them to – worthy of the same honor?
I believe they are, sir. This nation made a grave error when it honored the sacrifices of the veterans of Vietnam far too late and failed to bring closure to a nation scarred by a long war. As the now-longest war in American history comes to a close next year, we should not make the same mistake again.
Promise to commission a parade, Mr. de Blasio. The nation needs it. Veterans of New York need it. At a time when our nation is so divided, an event like this can bring people together. You can help spur that on.