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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is under fire for allowing pot smokers to march in a Cannabis Parade last week but dishonoring military veterans by denying the annual Memorial Day parade on Staten Island.
“It’s a slap in the face,” Jamie Gonzalez, a Marine infantryman who rought in Operation Desert Storm, told the New York Post.
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“For many of us, a parade is a form of closure,” he added. “We gather together and support each other.”
Citing emergency executive orders, the city denied the permit for the event where Gulf War veterans were set to get special recognition for the 30th anniversary of the conflict.
“I’m incensed,” Ted Cohen, 82, an Air Force reservist during the Cuban Missile Crisis, told the Post. “It’s pathetic.”
In a letter sent to the NYPD Friday, attorney Brendan Lantry demanded a parade permit by Monday, pointing to the Cannabis Parade.
“Under the equal protection clause, it’s unconstitutional for the city to pick and choose between groups like this,” Lantry wrote in part. “There’s a clear double standard going on here.”
De Blasio has reportedly participated in the St. Patrick’s Day parade and Black Lives Matter protests since the beginning of the pandemic. And Sen. Chuch Schumer (D-NY) and New York Attorney General Letitia James both participated in the Cannabis Parade earlier this month.
“Look, have any parade you want, I have no problem with that,” said Volker Heyde, 78, who is the commandant of Staten Island’s Marine Corps League. “But for the city to put dopeheads over vets is just dishonoring us.”
Nationally syndicated radio host Todd Starnes agreed in his commentary Monday morning.
“[Black Lives Matter is] allowed to clash with police, shut down traffic, loot businesses. That’s okay,” the Todd Starnes Radio Show host said. “But when America’s war heroes want to gather on Memorial Day it becomes a public health emergency.”
Caleb Parke is a senior correspondent for the ‘Todd Starnes Show.’ Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and connect with him at calebparke.com.