Unlike wars and military conflicts in the past, the end of the Iraq War is marked without any American celebration. Even as recent at the formal end of the first Gulf War, official and unofficial parades, celebrations and ceremonies dotted American cities and towns, where people congratulated the returning troops and veterans.
That is not the case for the Iraq War, so it seems.
For some, since there is still another war going on in Afghanistan, big, nation-wide celebrations are a bit premature. There are still men and women fighting and dying.
However, others believe that to honor the end of the Iraq War does not necessarily mean that our thoughts and prayers are not with those service men and women in Afghanistan, and that their sacrifice isn't any less important just because their conflict isn't over yet.
Furthermore, it may also be a distinction between the two different administrations that have overseen both the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. President Bush, for example, took many opportunities to celebrate the achievements in the wars. It is the thought, however, that President Obama is taking a more conservative point of view when it comes to celebrating the end of the Iraq War.
Professor of military history Don Mrozek of Kansas State University via The Huffington Post echoes this thought, “It's going to be a bit awkward to be celebrating too much, given how much there is going on and how much there will be going on in Afghanistan.”
Celebrations for end of war have pervaded our nation's hearts and minds for centuries. However, larger, more prolific celebrations that require approval and permission from the federal government will not happen, as of yet.
Smaller, more intimate, community-oriented parades will pop up across the country as the troops return from Iraq. These smaller celebrations will also honor the duty, bravery and sacrifice veterans of the conflict added.
Perhaps, the question that remains is whether when the conflict in Afghanistan is over, will there be celebrations, parades and ceremonies for both wars?