Military Parades are an important occasion celebrating the might of a nation’s defense capabilities. Many countries host military parades, usually on an important day, to demonstrate the achievements of the army, navy, and air force. In July 2017, when the French President Emmanuelle Macron invited Donald Trump to witness the French Military parade hosted on Bastille Day, he became enamored with the idea and decided, to host a U.S. Military parade himself. However, owing to a high budget, he has decided to cancel the event.
One could say that Donald Trump is largely flamboyant – demonstrated by his name in gold plated letters smeared across his real-estate buildings. The idea of tanks rolling on the streets of Washington DC, in the face of constant criticism regarding the inefficiency of his administration – definitely sounded good in his ears. In February 2018, he announced that he wanted a similar event for the United States. While he wanted the event to happen on Independence Day, on July 4th, the date was pushed back to occur on November, marking the centennial of the First World War. He hoped that the parade would shine some sort of limelight on the harsh criticism faced by him.
According to his estimations, the cost of hosting the parade would have been around $10-30 million. However, recent reports had estimated the cost to be around $92 million. Due to unavailability of funds, the Pentagon announced that the plan was postponed. The incident also angered Trump, who took to his favorite medium, Twitter, to lash out at local Washington DC officials, accusing them of inflating the price. He tweeted, “ When asked to give us a price for holding a great celebratory military parade, they wanted a number so ridiculously high that I canceled it.”
While Trump keeps up his hopes of conducting the parade sometime in the future, the general idea of hosting a military parade has drawn negative responses from critics. They have said it would be a waste of money and would look similar to events organized by authoritarian regimes. One might note, that North Korea indulges in several parades throughout the year to showcase the might of their military. Earlier this year, he scraped off joint military exercises with South Korea, drills that would cost $14 million. Some people fail to understand the logic as to why he is focused on having a military parade that cost several times more than those exercises. One would say that conducting drills would appease his followers, while others have stated that the money could be used to improve the lives of destitute war veterans.
Regardless of the utility value, the tradition of a military parade is as old as the republic in American history. Considered as a rare and historic event, military parades in the United States have been used to mark the end of a military conflict. One such event occurred in 1991 when President George HW Bush held a National Victory Parade with tanks and thousands of troops marched through D.C. to celebrate the end of the first Gulf War. It was hosted as a thanking ceremony to the troops for their solidarity and was noted as an important healing moment for the military and the country.
With news of parade being canceled flashing around, some social media users have questioned the purpose of the parade at all. People pour in suggestions to donate the money or use it directly to help veterans. Nonetheless, Trump’s love for flamboyance has ensured that he will conduct a parade sometime later in 2019.