The Late Hurrah

Justice delayed, insists the legal axiom, is justice denied. Some similar principle must apply to gratitude. When offered too late it turns into something else, a thank-you made soggy by the slop-over of guilt and apology. It was scarcely surprising, then, that many Viet Nam War veterans were somewhat wary when New York City cranked up a welcome-home parade ten years after the end of the conflict.

But last week's outpouring of public warmth and support for the veterans was massive and genuine beyond dispute: a gesture of splendid grandeur. As sheer spectacle, the tribute was a rousing success. It was...

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