President Donald Trump has asked the Pentagon to hold a military parade through the streets of the United States capital as a celebration for the country’s military servicemen.
He had asked the Defense Department to explore the idea, while the Pentagon described the plan for the parade as being in infancy, as it is reviewing potential dates for the event.
“President Trump is incredibly supportive of America’s great servicemembers who risk their lives every day to keep our country safe,” said White House press secretary Sarah Sanders. “He has asked the Department of Defense to explore a celebration at which all Americans can show their appreciation.”
News about Trump wanting to have a military parade was first reported in January when he reportedly told top Pentagon personnel that he wants a parade like the one in France. The meeting was attended by Vice President Mike Pence, White House chief of staff John Kelly, Defense Secretary James Mattis, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Joseph Dunford.
Last year, Trump was in France as the guest of President Emmanuel Macron on Bastille Day, when the French military held a grand parade. He later called the spectacle one of the greatest parades he had ever seen.
However, Trump’s parade is already hitting a number of snags even in the early stages of its planning, as critics are arguing that a parade, which could cost millions of dollars, is not something that the Pentagon can afford at the moment.
“A military parade in D.C. would shut down the nation’s capital and waste taxpayer dollars just to feed Trump’s ego,” said Eleanor Holmes Norton, a non-voting delegate to the U.S. Congress for the District of Columbia.
Trump’s military parade could also come as an answer to North Korea’s own military parade, which the authoritarian nation conducted as a display of force on the eve of the Winter Olympics in South Korea.