President Trump has demanded a military parade. It will happen on Veterans Day, with the rationalization it is not for the president, but is taking place to honor those in the military from the Revolutionary War through today. White House budget director, Mick Mulvaney, estimated the parade Trump had demanded could cost up to $30 million. NPR has reported estimates of up to $50 million. Tamara Keith and Tom Bowman have suggested having the parade on Veterans Day would reduce complaints (about throwing a parade for a president’s ego trip).
President Trump has gotten the parade he has been coveting for months. It won’t be on the 4th of July, nor will include tanks. It is hoped by associating the parade with World War I’s 100th anniversary, similarities to the military parades of countries like China, Russia, and North Korea can be avoided. Both Republicans and Democrats have criticized the parade’s cost and necessity.
A memo from the Pentagon states the parade will start at the White House and continue to the U.S. Capitol. The memo also states Trump will be surrounded by war heroes while reviewing the parade.
The memo says it provides guidance for planning and executing a procession which would move from the White House, and proceed to the Capitol, integrating with the annual Veterans Day parade.
Trump has wanted a parade for some time. His inaugural committee explored, and rejected, emphasizing military equipment during his inaugural parade. But, in July, President Trump, while in Paris, watched the Bastille Day celebration, calling it “one of the most beautiful parades I have ever seen,” and “We should do one one day down Pennsylvania Ave.” Two months later, while making remarks at the United Nations, Mr. Trump said he was actually looking into staging a Fourth of July parade, noting again that he had gotten the idea after watching the Bastille Day event.
President Trump has many things in common with Kim Jong Un. Kim Jong Un also has ego issues, and North Korea frequently shows off its military hardware, highlighting their missile capabilities by parading them on the main streets of Pyongyang.