Red White and Brave Welcome Home

Colorado Springs will be hosting a parade on August 29 to welcome troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Its predecessor was a 2004 victory parade, this one is billed as a Red White and Brave Welcome Home. You might shy from holding an antagonistic banner like “I DON’T WORSHIP WAR,” but imagine a message draped from a balcony along Tejon Ave! WELCOME HOME, NOW STAY HOME or WHAT HAPPENS IN IRAQ, STAYS IN IRAQ or my favorite, addressed to the 50,000-plus expected to attend: WE’RE CELEBRATING THE MURDER OF HOW MANY CIVILIANS?

This isn’t a Veterans’ Day parade right? It’s one thing to be honoring troops. This parade is an appreciation, a “go get’em” to soldiers returned from Iraq to be redeployed to Afghanistan.

This parade is about recruiting more soldiers. It’s to show prospective recruits that the community supports what they do and are thrilled to send them off again to Afghanistan.

Would protesting the event represent any significant population of Colorado Springs? Although the majority of even this city are against the continued conflicts, I’ve no doubt very few dare speak out against the wars.

That’s where to come out in protest of the glorification of militarism is not about a democratic representation. It’s about what’s right. If 99% of Pikes Peak area residents were just fine with blowing unfortunate Afghan and Iraqi children to bits, I would still object to their wanting to hold a public parade to celebrate it. Let the world see that not every last one of us in Colorado Springs gets off on the carnage we’ve been perpetrating for going on eight years.

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Eric Verlo

About Eric Verlo

On sabbatical
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