Everyone loves a parade — and America’s military surely deserves one. So we welcome President Trump’s desire for an event where Americans can express…
Everyone loves a parade — and America’s military surely deserves one. So we welcome President Trump’s desire for an event where Americans can express gratitude to the men and women who protect the nation — with a caveat.
Trump has wanted such a display since even before being awed by last summer’s Bastille Day parade in France. The president “asked the Department of Defense to explore a celebration” where “Americans can show their appreciation,” said White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
Radical anti-military leftists aside, who can oppose that?
Yet it’s critical that such an event send the right message: Soldiers, sailors and airmen who put their lives on the line deserve accolades. A gaudy spectacle that shines the main spotlight on US military equipment and tries to prove America has the biggest missiles will only dilute that honor — and backfire. There should be no tanks in American streets.
Recall all the showy displays of power by regimes like the former Soviet Union or North Korea’s Kim dynasty? They were covers for their nations’ weaknesses and the insecurity of their leaders, who felt the need to prove their strength, intimidate others — and distract from their failures.
A White House official acknowledged the event could be seen as a show of strength. But America has better ways to send that message: It can provide proper funds to ensure military readiness. It can stand up to enemies like Kim Jong-un, Iran and the Taliban.
The perfect parade to honor US service personnel isn’t with rocket-launchers, but by letting them march themselves — with representatives from all quarters of the military: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines.
Invite the Coast Guard, National Guard, Army Reserves. Let the grandeur of the US Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon put on a show. Strike up the bands. Give them their day to be thanked.
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), among others, is pooh-poohing the idea, citing its potential cost. But Durbin hates Trump; he’d oppose ice cream if the president were for it. Nor do Trump’s foes want him to bask in any glory from a military tribute.
But consider: America’s armed forces never stop working to ensure the nation’s safety and freedom. Since 9/11, they’ve battled in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and elsewhere. They took out Osama bin Laden in Pakistan in 2011. They back allies and stand at the ready in places like South Korea. And they perform humanitarian services around the globe every day.
America hasn’t paid proper tribute to these valiant men and women since the first Gulf War in 1991. A parade — one that honors them, not Trump — is overdue.