President Donald Trump wants to hold his proposed military parade on Veterans Day, a date that would increase significance to the first public U.S. military procession since the Gulf War’s end.
Trump directed Pentagon planners to organize a Nov. 11 parade in the nation’s capital, according to an unclassified memo National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster wrote Tuesday.
The memo, according to Politico, was sent to Secretary of Defense James Mattis, requesting the Pentagon chief to notify Trump on “concepts of operation for this event.” It also lays out the route’s basic requirements: Trump wants the procession to begin at the White House and end at the Capitol.
Trump’s inspiration for a military parade in Washington reportedly reflects his July visit to France, when he attended a Bastille Day parade in Paris. He said he admired the celebration, calling the parade “magnificent.”
“It was one of the greatest parades I’ve ever seen,” Trump told reporters at a press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron, adding, “It was two hours on the button, and it was military might; and I think a tremendous thing for France and for the spirit of France.”
“We’re going to have to try to top it,” the president said.
While Trump insists the parade would be good for the “spirit” of the country, he says he’ll scrap the plan if it becomes too expensive.
“We’ll see if we can do it at a reasonable cost,” Trump told Fox News host Jeanine Pirro in a Saturday interview. “If we can’t, we won’t do it”
The president did not specify how much money would be too much for the parade. White House budget director Mick Mulvaney estimated the celebration would cost between $10 million and $30 million.
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