Strike up the band, fire up the tanks, lock and load, forward … march!
The word is out that preliminary planning has commenced for what Donald J. Trump is seeking: a full-blown military parade down Pennsylvania Avenue.
The president wants to honor the service and sacrifice of active-duty military personnel and to thank the nation’s veterans.
Well, gosh. I do appreciate the expression of thanks from the president. Really. I do! I served a couple of years in the U.S. Army, serving some of that time in Vietnam in wartime.
That was a zillion years ago and to this day I still get “Thank you for your service” greetings from strangers. I appreciate the recognition that we didn’t receive when we were mustering out of the service and returning home.
To be honest, that’s all I want.
Do I want to see a military demonstration with tanks, artillery, thousands of troops from all branches of our 1.5 million-member military? No. I consider it a waste of money and an unnecessary showing off by the commander in chief.
I’ve read that the president was so taken by a Bastille Day parade he saw in Paris that he wanted to do something like it here. Except for this little item that I believe the president is ignoring: The French parade included troops from other nations as well as the French military. Is the president planning to allow foreign fighting forces mach alongside our men and women in uniform? I don’t think so.
If the president wants to honor our military, all he has to do is have a White House ceremony. The leaders of the Joint Chiefs of Staff can speak publicly about the sacrifice each of the personnel under their command make to protect us.
Donald Trump could offer some legislative remedies to ensure that our veterans receive top-tier medical care.
A parade down Pennsylvania Avenue? A parade that will cost the country millions of dollars it cannot afford to spend? An event that will stretch our overworked and stressed-out military men and women even more?
No thank you, Mr. President. A simple — and sincere — expression of gratitude would work just as well. The world’s greatest military machine doesn’t need to show off its might in this ostentatious — and costly — event.