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Upcoming St. Louis parade to welcome home Iraq War veterans

An American flag.
An American flag.

A parade will be held in downtown St. Louis on Saturday honoring the men and women that served in Iraq.

The idea for the parade was started by two St. Charles men, Craig Schneider and Tom Applebaum. They approached the veterans group, The Mission Continues, with the idea and they agreed to partner with them to make the parade happen.

"It's the first parade in the country that is going to be held to welcome home our men and women home from Iraq," said Meredith Knopp, vice president of programs for The Mission Continues. "And we've also made sure that we're welcoming and including all post-911 veterans, because I know that we have a lot of veterans who've served our country in a myriad of capacity, in a myriad of theaters."

Saturday's parade will feature about 100 floats and 25 performance groups. It will begin at noon and follow the St. Patrick's Day Parade route down Market and Broadway, ending at Union Station.

The event will also include what organizers are calling a Veterans Resource Village at Union Station that will connect returning servicemen and women with people and St. Louis veterans organizations to help ease their transition back home.

Parade organizers are still in need of volunteers for Saturday's event. Contact The Mission Continues for information on how to sign-up.