The last U.S. soldiers left Iraq ten days ago, as the nine-year, $800 billion-dollar war that cost hundreds of thousands of lives ended quietly. Days later, the country's fragile government threatened to collapse and bombs allegedly detonated by an al-Qaeda affiliated organization killed at least 65 people in Baghdad. Considering the elusiveness of "victory" in the war, the country's enduring turmoil, and the current war in Afghanistan, should there be a parade for the veterans of the Iraq War?

Staten Island City Councilmen and Republicans James Oddo and Vincent Ignizio believe a parade in Manhattan's Canyon of Hereos is our duty to the veterans. "To have a chance to honor them, I, for one, would want to be there to see the looks on their faces as the adulation sort of reverberates down that canyon," Oddo told CBS. "I think it would be an amazing thing."

Texas Governor and current GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry has used the lack of a planned parade as political ammunition against President Obama. "It really disturbs me that after nine years of war in Iraq, this president wouldn't welcome our many heroes home with a simple parade in their honor," Perry recently told a group in Iowa. He then added, ironically, "Mr. President, our soldiers come first, and it comes before party politics."

Mayor Bloomberg has said that the decision is out of his hands: "It's a federal thing that we really don't want to do without talking to Washington, and we'll be doing that." Washington D.C.'s mayor, Vincent Gray, also said that any decision to hold a parade wouldn't be made by his office.

A parade for veterans of the Gulf War that cost $5.2 million was criticized at the time for being too much like gloating. "That's a disturbing lack of humility," a retired Army brigadier general told a newspaper at the time. Military history professor Don Mrozek tells the AP that a parade wouldn't be wise from the military's point of view. "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."

Parades could be held to honor the veterans years from now, as was the case in the Vietnam war, but those parades were designed to heal the wounds the soldiers endured from the public because they fought an unpopular, and had little to do with celebrating a victory.

A Times reporter ventured to Times Square shortly after the U.S. officially ended the war, and noted that unlike V-E Day or V-J Day, few people knew the fighting was over. Carl Muscarello, a retired NYPD officer and sailor who claimed to be the one kissing a nurse in Times Square on V-J Day in the iconic Life Magazine photo, said the comparison between the wars was not apt. “World War II was, in a sense, a popular war, in the sense that everyone was behind it…the enemy we're fighting today has not exactly surrendered." He added, “I knew the Iraq war was over...I’m glad the guys are coming home, but did we win the peace or lose it?”