Older Vets Honor Iraq War Comrades At Memorial Day Parade | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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Older Vets Honor Iraq War Comrades At Memorial Day Parade

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Marchers in the annual Memorial Day Parade in downtown D.C. The 2012 parade highlighted the service of veterans of the Iraq war. 
Markette Smith
Marchers in the annual Memorial Day Parade in downtown D.C. The 2012 parade highlighted the service of veterans of the Iraq war. 

Iraq war veterans were honored for the first time in the National Memorial Day Parade in D.C. The National Memorial Day parade is one of the largest events to honor veterans on the national mall, and each year it brings out some pretty heavy hitters when it comes to American heroes.

This year, one of them was Buzz Aldrin, who's most famously known as being the second man to ever walk on the moon. But he's also a Korean War veteran. For the first time, Aldrin and other living legends of previous battles were joined by more than 1,000 active duty personnel and veterans of the Iraq War at the annual parade.

"I think people realize no matter your politics and feelings about the war, the valor, the service, the sacrifice of this generation needs to be honored and that's something we can all come together and agree on," said Tim Holbert of the American Veterans Center, the organization that organizes the parade.

Holbert and his group has been working since the Iraq war ended  in December to create a special tribute for what he calls the veterans of this generation.

Whether it's the Iraq War, Vietnam or the Korean War, Colonel David J. Clark just wants to make sure people remember.

"We want Americans to pause and think about the wonderful country that we have," Clark said. "And it's due in large part to the sacrifice that these men their families made some many years ago." 

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