Bergdahl's Hometown Cancels Celebration
Hailey, Idaho, says it's too small to host
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 4, 2014 6:03 PM CDT
A sign celebrating the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl stands on a street in the soldier's hometown of Hailey, Idaho, Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Brian Skoloff)

(Newser) – When Bowe Bergdahl first got released, people back home in Hailey, Idaho, promised the "biggest welcome-home party the country has ever seen." But now the party's off, reports the Idaho Statesman. In its explanation, the tiny city makes no mention of the controversy swirling around Bergdahl—whether he did or didn't desert his base. Instead, it blames the huge national interest in the party, which had been scheduled for June 28. "In the interest of public safety, the event will be cancelled," says the city. "Hailey, a town of 8,000, does not have the infrastructure to support an event of the size this could become."

Organizers had been under mounting pressure to call it off, especially as it became clear that protesters as well as supporters would be descending on Hailey. One co-organizer told Reuters earlier that the event wasn't intended to celebrate Bergdahl as a hero, only to rejoice in his release. "People in Hailey have been aware for some time that there were questions about how Bowe came to be captured, and that there was a chance that Bowe could be in trouble when he came home," said Stefanie O'Neill.

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Showing 3 of 43 comments
clstans
Jun 5, 2014 11:10 AM CDT
What type of celebration do you have for a deserter? Oh I know a court-martial!
Corsica
Jun 5, 2014 10:19 AM CDT
"Bergdahl's Hometown Cancels Celebration" As well they should.
TessTalks
Jun 5, 2014 8:26 AM CDT
At first, I thought, "Great we got an American back." But, then I read more about Mr. Bergdahl deserting/walking away from his post, and that six soldiers died trying to find him. Further, we traded FIVE terrorists to get back one dirt bag deserter! We should have left him there. But, now that he's back he should be court martialed and put on trial, or something is just not right about this whole story, and we may not be getting the full truth.