Here’s What We Know About Donald Trump’s Upcoming Military Parade
The last military parade in the U.S. happened in 1991, when more than 8,000 troops marched down the District of Columbia’s Constitution Avenue to celebrate the end of the Persian Gulf War. Patriot missiles rolled by crowds as Stealth fighter planes passed overhead, and by the time the evening’s fireworks went off there were about 800,000 people at the event. The cost? Only $12 million.
Donald Trump thinks it’s high time the U.S. had another military parade — so he has one scheduled. Find out the details about the upcoming military parade and decide if it might be time to visit the White House for the occasion.
1. An idea is born
According to Politico, Trump was French president Emmanuel Macron’ guest in during the summer in 2017 when he saw France’s Bastille Day. Trump fell in love with the parade idea. “It was a tremendous day, and to a large extent because of what I witnessed, we may do something like that on July 4th in Washington,” Trump said. “We’re going to have to try to top it.” Trump floated the parade idea shortly after he got back from France.
Next: A plan in action
2. Trump formally asks the Pentagon to plan
In February 2018, Trump asked the Pentagon to begin planning for a 2018 parade, That said, some officials in the administration said the idea had not gone beyond just that, an idea. Is that true? Keep reading to find out.
Next: Trump sets a date
3. Trump has decided when the parade will be
According to Politico, Trump has now officially tasked Department of Defense with organizing a parade to take place on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, 2018. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster wrote an unclassified memo on Feb. 20, 2018, which he sent to Secretary of Defense James Mattis.
The memo said that Trump wants Mattis to brief him on “concepts of operation for this event,” and that the parade routed should start at the White House and conclude at the Capitol. The Pentagon confirmed on Friday, Feb. 23, that it had received McMaster’s memo.
Next: Will Trump lead the way?
4. No one knows whether the president will participate
As of now, according to Politico, no one knows if Trump is planning to participate in the event. Macron was a big part of the parade in France, though, so speculation is that Trump will indeed participate. Macron rode in the parade in an open-top military vehicle with the former chief of the French armed forces. The vehicle was surrounded by hundreds of military men on horseback.
Next: Can the U.S. afford it?
5. Trump’s parade might be cost prohibitive
According to the Washington Business Journal, the only thing standing in the way of Trump’s military parade might be its cost. Early in February 2018, Mick Mulvaney — the White House budget director — came up with an estimate of what the parade could cost, and it’s between $10 million and $30 million. Still, Trump wants it to happen. He told Fox News, “We’ll see if we can do it at a reasonable cost. And if we can’t, we won’t do it. But the generals would love to do it, and so would I.”
Next: Who pays for this?
6. This where the money for the last parade came from
When the June 1991 military parade happened in the District of Columbia it cost between $8 million and $12 million, according to the Washington Business Journal. Much of that came from private donations, but it still lightened federal coffers by $3 million. Judging from what the last parade cost and adjusting for inflation, a military parade in 2018 would cost more like $20 million.
Next: Not enough military spending
7. Trump wants more military spending
According to the Washington Business Journal, Trump told Fox News that his fiscal 2019 budget proposal included more spending on nonmilitary items than he wanted. Trump said this is because he had to compromise with Democrats to “rebuild our military.” He described the lack of military spending in the proposal as a “disaster” and pointed out that the military had been “very depleted” for many years.
Next: Trump’s excited
8. Trump wants to boost American’s spirits
Trump wants to have a military parade to boost spirit in America, according to the Washington Business Journal. “Frankly I think it’s great for spirit. The military loves it. They love the idea,” he said. “It would have our West Point and Annapolis and the Air Force Academy, Coast Guard Academy. It would be a great representative parade, would have a lot of plane flyovers. I think it would be something great for the spirit of the country.”
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