The Pentagon says a military parade requested by President Trump will take place in Washington on Veterans Day to honor those who have served in the military from the Revolutionary War through today.
The document addressed to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff provides “initial guidance,” including assurances that the display will not include tanks, to minimize damage to the city streets. The D.C. City Council had already tweeted its objections (“Tanks but No Tanks“).
The memo does not estimate the cost, but as NPR has reported, estimates have suggested it would be between $3 million and $50 million. Tamara Keith and Tom Bowman reported that holding it on Veterans Day, which also commemorates the end of World War I, could reduce complaints:
“By potentially tying the parade to the 100th anniversary of the end of the ‘War To End All Wars,’ there may be an effort to associate with the tradition of celebrating war victories and avoid associations with countries like North Korea, China and Russia, which regularly hold military parades, in part for the propaganda value.
“Members of Congress from both parties have been critical of the idea of a military parade, questioning its cost and necessity.”
The memo says the parade will begin at the White House and proceed to the U.S. Capitol, with a “heavy air component at the end.” It notes that Trump will be surrounded by military heroes in the reviewing area at the Capitol.
The memo listed a number of guidelines for the parade on Nov. 11 and said the parade route will be from the White House to the Capitol and have a “heavy air component at the end of the parade.”
Military parades in the United States are generally rare. Such parades in other countries are usually staged to celebrate victories in battle or showcase military might.
In 1991, tanks and thousands of troops paraded through Washington to celebrate the ousting of Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi forces from Kuwait in the Gulf War.
The District of Columbia Council had ridiculed the idea of a parade on Pennsylvania Avenue, the 1.2-mile (1.9-km) stretch between the Capitol and the White House that is also the site of the Trump International Hotel.