Friday, January 27, 2012
These photos were actually taken on Saturday, January 28th at the Welcome Home Parade for Iraq War veterans. St. Louis hosted this first major welcome home parade with thousands of people lining along Market Street in downtown, waving American flags and shouting "Thank You" to our servicemen and women as they marched from Kiener Plaza to Union Station. Most of the veterans waved to the crowd from military vehicles and floats sponsored by organizations. It was a real treat when we were able to reach out and shake hands (some gave hugs) to let the veterans know we were grateful for their service.
Don't get me wrong, I have always thought moving to St. Louis when my husband got the job transfer from Michigan was a good decision. St. Louis is a good place to live, mild winter compared to Michigan and much better cost of living compared to New York. Now I have one more reason to be proud of St. Louis for being the first in the nation to have this welcome home parade for our veterans. I clapped and shouted as loud as my voice allowed when the Vietnam veterans marched by where we stood. These veterans never received the welcome they deserved. I made eye contact with a veteran and said, "Cam On Ong". He understood the Vietnamese words I said, acknowledged my thanks and his eyes showed he was touched by my gesture.
It was a sunny but very windy day. I was glad to be able to capture this photo of the flag against the clear blue sky. Thanks to the two firemen (below photo) for staying up in this bucket to make sure the flag won't get twisted into a knot.