When the last U.S. combat troops left Iraq in December 2011–hurried out to meet a deadline President Barack Obama set years earlier–debate raged about whether to throw a ticker-tape parade in New York or Washington, D.C. to welcome the returning heroes and mark the end of the almost nine years of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

While city officials were unopposed to such a move, the administration decided to forgo the celebration. Military officials didn’t give a reason for the lack of fanfare, but some reasoned the display would be seen as inappropriate while troops still fought and died in Afghanistan.

Nearly six months later, a few organizations have teamed up to make sure the troops who served in the Iraq War, and the ones who died, are remembered and honored this Memorial Day.