2018 Washington Veterans Day Parade

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The 2018 Washington Veterans Day Parade (colloquially called "Trump's military parade") was a planned military parade that would have taken place in Washington, D.C. on 10 November 2018 in honor of the Veterans Day holiday (which will take place on 11 November). On August 16, 2018, it was announced that the military parade would be postponed until 2019.[1] In cancelling the parade for 2018, Trump cited the projected high costs for the parade and blamed Washington DC city officials for the high projected costs.[2]

Background[edit]

The parade was expected to include members of all five armed services; the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and the Coast Guard, with other units that were to be dressed in period uniforms representing earlier times in the United States military history.[3] A memo from General Joseph Dunford reported that the parade was to have focused on historic battles and conflicts such as the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812.[4] Between 5,000 and 7,000 service members were to have taken part in the parade, which was to begin at the U.S. Capitol and end at the White House. The evolution of women in the service was also to be highlighted in the parade, along with an emphasis on the price of freedom.[5] The parade would have included 100 wheeled vehicles instead of tanks, as well as a heavy air component featuring 50 aircraft at the end of the parade.[6][7] U.S. President Donald Trump would have been situated in a reviewing area and surrounded by military heroes.[8] Medal of Honor recipients would have been included in reviewing the parade with the President and would have marched in the parade.[5]

The parade would also have coincided with the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.[8] It was to have been the first full scale parade in the nation's capital since 1991 involving the men and women of the active and reserve components of the United States Armed Forces and veterans' organizations and the first national Veterans' Day parade in years. U.S. President Donald Trump requested the military parade following his admiration of the Bastille Day military parade at the Champs-Élysées in Paris which he attended in 2017.

Cancellation of 2018 parade[edit]

On August 17, 2018 U.S. President Donald Trump stated he canceled the parade due to the "ridiculous" $92 million price tag.[9] Through Twitter he blamed local politicians for the price and suggested hosting another parade in 2019, and ended his tweets with; "Maybe we will do something next year in D.C. when the cost comes WAY DOWN. Now we can buy some more jet fighters!"[10]

In spite of Trump's statements, Budget Director Mick Mulvaney claimed that the cancellation was not just for reasons of cost.[11]

Cost[edit]

A Pentagon official estimated the cost of the parade between $3 million and $50 million, earlier in 2018.[7][12][13][14] Another suggestion of the cost was closer to $92 million, with at least $50 million being used to cover Pentagon costs for aircraft, equipment, personnel, and other support. This number was refuted by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis who stated; "I'm not dignifying that number ($92 million) with a reply."[15] The $92 million estimate was to be divided between the Defense Department and the Department of Homeland Security, which would have contributed $50 million and $42 million respectively.[9]

Separately DC City officials estimated expenses related to the parade would have been $21.6 million with an expectation for reimbursement from the Federal government, with the Mayor of Washington DC Muriel Bowser reporting that $13 million would have been used alone to cover police costs.[16]

Opinion of parade[edit]

Support[edit]

In February 2017, few lawmakers backed the idea of a military parade. Senator David Perdue a Republican of Georgia told reporters "He's the President of the United States. Personally, I would prefer not to do it. But he's the president."[17] Senator Lindsey Graham a Republican of South Carolina, supported the parade if it honored the military itself, and not the "...Soviet-style hardware display."[17]

AMVETS an group that advocates for military veterans felt that potentially the parade would inspire more Americans to join the armed forces.[18]

Against[edit]

Other politicians spoke out against the parade. Representative Adam Smith a Democrat of Washington and members of the House Armed Services Committee released a statement that highlighted "A military parade like this - one that is unduly focused on a single person - is what authoritarian regimes due, not democracies."[17] Senator John Kennedy a Republican of Louisiana told reporters "We're not North Korea, we're not Russia, and we're not China and I don't want to be." while speaking out against the proposed parade.[19]

Robert O'Neill a former Navy SEAL tweeted in February 2018 that any military parade would be "...third world bullshit."[20] Other military veterans echoed the sentiment with calls for the money to be spent on housing, employment and mental health care to better support the troops.[19] A veteran of the War in Afghanistan highlighted that it would seem unreasonable to hold a parade in celebration while a 17 year-old war (per 2018) was still on going.[18]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ News, ABC (16 August 2018). "Trump's military parade is postponed until 2019". ABC News. Retrieved 17 August 2018. 
  2. ^ Clark, Dartunorro (August 17, 2018). "Trump cancels military parade, blames D.C. officials for high cost". NBC News. 
  3. ^ "Trump military parade plans unravel over costs". Fox News. 2018-08-18. Retrieved 2018-08-19. 
  4. ^ "Trump's military parade could cost $12 million: Official". ABC7 San Francisco. 2018-07-18. Retrieved 2018-08-20. 
  5. ^ a b "Details Emerging on D.C. Veterans Day Parade". Association of the United States Army. 2018-03-12. Retrieved 2018-08-20. 
  6. ^ "Trump getting Washington military parade but no tanks - WTOP". wtop.com. 
  7. ^ a b "Trump's military parade expected to have over 7,000 troops: report". 
  8. ^ a b "No Military Parade For Trump In D.C. This Year; Pentagon Looking At Dates In 2019". NPR.org. Retrieved 2018-08-19. 
  9. ^ a b "Trump slams D.C. officials for parade's 'ridiculous' $92M price tag". UPI. Retrieved 2018-08-17. 
  10. ^ "Trump cancels military parade over costs". BBC News. 2018-08-17. Retrieved 2018-08-17. 
  11. ^ Morin, Rebecca (August 19, 2018). "Mulvaney on canceled military parade: It wasn't just the money". Politico. 
  12. ^ McLaughlin, Elizabeth (July 20, 2018). "5,000 to 7,000 service members to march in Trump's military parade: Source". ABC News. 
  13. ^ Bowden, John (20 July 2018). "Thousands of service members to participate in Trump's military parade: report". 
  14. ^ "Trump's Military Parade Is Set For Veterans Day". 
  15. ^ Baldor, Lolita (August 16, 2018). "Pentagon Delays Trump's Military Parade Until at Least 2019". U.S. News. Retrieved August 17, 2018. 
  16. ^ "The Latest: Trump blames DC for military parade cancellation". Washington Post. Retrieved 2018-08-20. 
  17. ^ a b c Gibbons-Neff, Thomas. "Trump Wants a Military Parade. But Not Everyone Is in Step". Retrieved 2018-08-24. 
  18. ^ a b "Veterans Are Divided On Response To Trump's Desire For Military Parade". NPR.org. Retrieved 2018-08-24. 
  19. ^ a b Gomez, Luis. "What veterans in San Diego and elsewhere think of a Trump military parade". sandiegouniontribune.com. Retrieved 2018-08-24. 
  20. ^ "Robert J. O'Neill on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2018-08-24.