Donald Trump considering military parade for Fourth of July

Donald Trump considering military parade for Fourth of July
  • President impressed by Bastille Day parade he witnessed in Paris

  • White House chief of staff told to look into display of US military might

Donald Trump is considering staging a US military parade in Washington on the Fourth of July Independence Day holiday, inspired by the parade he saw on Bastille Day in Paris.

Meeting France’s President Emmanuel Macron on the fringes of the UN general assembly, Trump said he had asked his White House chief of staff, retired Marine Corps general John Kelly, to look into the possibility of holding such a display of US military might.

Trump said he marvelled at the French parade that he saw with Macron on France’s 14 July national holiday.

In typical Trump fashion, the president said he wants the parade to be bigger and better than the one he saw in France.

“It was one of the greatest parades I have ever seen,” Trump said. “It was two hours on the button, and was military might, and I think a tremendous thing for France and the spirit of France.”

“And to a large extent, because of what I witnessed, we may do something like that on July 4th in Washington, down Pennsylvania Avenue,” Trump said. “We’re going to have to try and top it.”

He noted that France’s parade featured representatives from different wars and armed forces wearing different uniforms. “It was really so well done,” he said.

“So we’re actually thinking about 4th of July, Pennsylvania Avenue, having a really great parade to show our military strength,” Trump added.

Trump has often displayed an enthusiasm for military pageantry and had reportedly hoped for some kind of parade at his own inauguration.

Trump watched enthusiastically from a reviewing stand on 14 July as the French military showcased its tanks and fighter jets, including many US-made planes, along the famed Champs-Élysées. The occasion also marked the 100th anniversary of the US entrance into world war one.

Trump said he has discussed the parade idea with his chief of staff, John Kelly, a retired marine general.

The president, who has recruited three current and retired generals for his senior leadership team, also noted that the US spends $700bn on the military.
Washington already holds quite a few parades, including some with military participation that are held on Memorial Day and the Fourth of July. But those patriotic processions typically involve marching bands and uniformed elements, not the grand display of military hardware that Trump envisions.