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Date set for President Trump’s military parade ‘to honor those who have served’
Athitat Shinagowin / Shutterstock
Pentagon spokesman Col. Robert Manning said the parade, which was originally scheduled for Veterans’ Day on Nov. 11, will “honor those who have served in the military from the Revolutionary War through today.”
The parade is also set to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.
Pentagon plans military parade to honor vets
The Pentagon said in late June that planning for the parade was finally underway after months of little progress. According to NBC, a lack of enthusiasm at the Pentagon may have been to blame, with one top official saying, in apparent reference to Trump: “There is only one person who wants this parade.”
The parade — which is set to begin at the Capitol, pass by the White House, and end at the National Mall — is meant to honor veterans past and present, and will feature units marching in uniforms from various eras of American history. The event is reportedly also meant to highlight the evolution of women’s role in the armed forces, and the “price of freedom.”
There will also be wheeled vehicles throughout the parade, though tanks will be absent in an effort to minimize damage to city streets, according to a Defense Department memorandum dated March 8 and sent to the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Medal of Honor recipients are also expected to be present. The day will end with an air show featuring vintage aircraft.
The U.S. Military District of Washington, which organizes state ceremonies such as funerals for former presidents and inaugurations, will lead the event.
Pomp and controversy
President Trump first conceived the idea for his proposed military parade after attending a Bastille Day parade in France last July, which featured French troops marching through the streets alongside tanks. Trump was so impressed by what he saw that he gave an order in February to do something similar (but bigger) to honor America’s men and women in uniform.
“We’re going to have to try to top it,” he told French President Emmanuel Macron.
But the idea has not been without controversy. The president’s suggestion led some Democrats to compare him to dictators like Adolf Hitler and Kim Jong Un.
Still, past American presidents have held military parades to mark victories, including George H.W. Bush, who threw a large parade after Operation Desert Storm. So while some maintain that the extravagant event would be a waste — Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) even called it an “fantastic waste of money to amuse the president” — it certainly wouldn’t be unprecedented.
The Pentagon has not yet reported an official budget for the event, but while the cost is expected to be in the millions, there’s no telling how much the parade will benefit the local economy.
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