Mr. Trump wants a parade. The country doesn’t have a national victory to celebrate but after viewing the annual Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Elysees in Paris, celebrating the uprising that led to the French Revolution, he wants a parade. Does he want our military to march in order to show who has the largest missile? Does he believe creating a military spectacle will unify our nation during the celebration of the birth of our state? We’ve had parades before but nothing like the one Mr. Trump wants to create. Understand I didn’t say our nation wants a parade or wants the expense of a parade. I am stating Mr. Trump wants a parade to celebrate himself.
There have been many large and ‘beautiful’ parades throughout the history of our planet. The Roman military commander Marcus Claudius Marcellus (c.268-c.208 BC) returned to Rome in triumph after having defeated the Insubrian Gauls. He had a giant parade to celebrate his great victory. He wasn’t celebrating himself but rather celebrating Rome’s conquest.
In August of 1804, Napoleon had a giant show of force at the Boulogne-sur-Mer. This was the site where he assembled his “grand army” to invade Britain. Adolf Hitler loved parades to demonstrate his strength. In Germany on September of 1938, thousands of marching Nazi storm troopers paraded before Hitler in the streets of Nuremberg.
Leaders of most autocratic societies love their military parades. The Soviet Union in May of 1965, displayed an intercontinental missile that crossed Moscow’s Red Square during the military parade, marking the 20th anniversary of the end of WWII in Europe. In fact, the Soviet Union loved to display their military hardware in order to show the world and probably themselves they had the largest missiles.
In September of 2015, China in one of the largest parades of all time, held a grand military procession to mark the 70th anniversary of victory in what it called “the Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War.” Is Mr. Trump trying to top that parade?
North Korea in July of 2013, had rocket launchers pass through Kim Il-Sung Square in the capital of Pyongyang during a military parade marking the 60th anniversary of the end of fighting in the Korean War. Leader Kim Jong-Un presided over the ceremony. The old Soviet Union, China, and North Korea have had many military parades through their capitols because they had to show their strength to the rest of the world. The United States of America never thought a performance was necessary because we know we have the most powerful military ever seen in the history of our planet.
I am also not stating our nation has never had a parade to celebrate a victory by our military. In May of 1865, A Civil War infantry unit with fixed bayonets marched on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., followed by ambulances, during the “Grand Review” of the Union Army. In June of 1991, battle-fatigue-clad veterans of Operation Desert Storm marched in a Gulf War victory procession. This was the last military parade held in the U.S. capital. Today no one wants another military parade because we don’t want another war.
Mr. Trump wants a parade. Not to celebrate great victories but rather to simply have a parade celebrating Mr. Trump. He has reportedly informed the Pentagon and his (?) generals to organize a parade for the 4th of July. Even though our volunteer military men and women didn’t train for a spectacle and shouldn’t have to be forced to do so. Even though an unnecessary expense to our economy while suffering through the worse deficits and debts of our nation’s history is unconscionable. The only reason is he wants it and he wants it now.