Ala Vets Homecoming Parade Draws Tiny Crowd

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) -- A homecoming parade for war veterans didn't draw many people in downtown Birmingham.

A parade of about three dozen cars, trucks and motorcycles drew about the same number of spectators on Wednesday, disappointing organizers and participants. They blamed a lack of publicity for the tiny turnout -- not a shortage of patriotism or appreciation for troops returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Birmingham Police Chief A.C. Roper Jr. served as grand marshal, and he says the event may not have been advertised very well.

The parade only took about three minutes to pass once it began.

Another homecoming parade was planned by the same organizers in Huntsville, and event publicist Bessie Bell says similar events are being planned for July in Montgomery, Mobile and Tuscaloosa. No dates are set.

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