The Korean War was the forgotten war.
Vietnam was the bitter war.
And Afghanistan is the longest war. At 11 years and counting, it has, for much of its length, been fought in the shadows of the Iraq War, which, like the Afghanistan War, was in response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States, which killed more than 3,000 civilians.
Fighting two wars in the Middle East simultaneously has taken a terrific toll on the men and women who serve in our armed forces -- and their families. Multiple tours of duty have inflicted untold physical and psychological damage on our troops and have placed myriad strains on their loved ones. The Iraq War is over and the Afghanistan War is winding down, but there are still thousands of troops actively serving in the Middle East.
To honor the service of all the Western Pennsylvania military personnel who have served or are still serving in the Middle East -- and their families -- the 93rd Annual Pittsburgh Veterans Day Parade carries a special theme, "Coming Together to Say Thank You," and accompanying features, including an IAV Stryker, an eight-wheeled armored personnel vehicle that's been a military workhorse over the past decade.
This year's parade, sponsored by the Federation of War Veterans Societies of Allegheny County, begins at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 10, at the intersection of Liberty Avenue and Grant Street and will proceed along Liberty Avenue and Stanwix Street.
The intention of the "Coming Together" theme is to give all Western Pennsylvanians, among the most patriotic in the nation, an opportunity to line the streets of Downtown Pittsburgh to say thank you to all of our servicemen and -women, past and present, and their families. Let's line the streets of Liberty Avenue to say thanks to all of our local heroes.
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
The writer, a Beechview resident, is a Vietnam veteran who is helping with parade planning.