Based on information obtained through an unclassified memo, it appears that the Pentagon has been directed by President Donald Trump to schedule the proposed military parade in the Capitol on November 11, Veterans Day. On Tuesday, instructions regarding the event were distributed by national security adviser H.R. McMaster, speaking to the Department of Defense in the memo.
McMaster, according to a report by The Hill, discusses Trump’s wish that Defense Secretary Jim Mattis brief him on “concepts of operation” for the event.
Trump has repeatedly stated his support for a large-scale military parade, especially since witnessing the Bastille Day celebrations, which included a military display, held in Paris last year.
The president’s desire for a military parade is seen as controversial. Many lawmakers, predominately Democrats, have raised concerns about the potential cost as well as if such a display would provoke North Korea.
Mick Mulvaney, the White House budget director, has indicated that the parade could come with a cost of $10 million to $30 million.
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham has also expressed doubts.
“I don’t mind having a parade honoring the service and sacrifice of our military members, “said Graham. “I’m not looking for a Soviet-style hardware display. That’s not who we are, it’s kind of cheesy, and I think it shows weakness, quite frankly.
Military members and veterans have also voiced their concerns. In a tweet, Robert O’Neil, the former Navy SEAL who says he killed Osama bin Laden, stated, “A military parade is third world b*******. We prepare. We deter. We fight. Stop this conversation.”
Dakota Meyer, a Marine Corps veteran and Medal of Honor recipient, echoed the sentiment, saying in a Facebook post, “Really we are going a military parade?? Imagine how far the money that will be spent to do this parade could go with getting our men and women serving better gear and training. What a waste. This is for Donald J. Trump not the country.”
A poll released on Tuesday suggests that the majority of Americans do not support the idea of having the parade, with 61 percent saying they disapprove of the idea, and only 26 percent expressing support.