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Op-Ed

Iraq War Vet: A Military Parade Is Exactly What Our Nation Needs

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President Donald Trump’s desire to hold a military parade to honor the U.S. military has predictably drawn widespread hysteria among the liberal media and Democrat politicians alike.

That is one reason, if one was needed, to go ahead with the parade.

There are seven others: loyalty, duty, respect, honor, integrity, personal courage and selfless service. These are the seven core values every U.S. Army recruit learns during basic training, and they are the values that the left is sadly lacking.

A military parade, of the kind the French can only dream of, is exactly what the nation needs right now to unite us and demonstrate to the world that we have the most powerful military muscle the world has ever known.

Before Trump came to office, we witnessed eight years of an administration that wanted to tell the world that America was in retreat and duly cannibalized our armed forces.

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The result, under President Barack Obama’s watch, was the proliferation of nuclear weapons, the flaunting of international humanitarian norms by tin-pot dictatorships and the abject chaos spread by terrorist organizations that only grew in strength and number.

Trump came into office to arrest America’s seeming impotence in the face of a belligerent world. A military parade would be the perfect rejoinder to our enemies who think we are done.

The left will have you believe that a parade would symbolize an authoritarian turn and an end to American exceptionalism, as one columnist for the New York Daily News put it. What an odd place to locate American exceptionalism — not in our Declaration of Independence or in the Bill of Rights, but in our only recent and relative absence of military parades.

Let’s get this out of the way: The United States regularly holds military parades across our great nation to honor our veterans and to remember those who sacrificed their lives defending us.

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More than that, as recently as 1991, at the end of the first Gulf War, President George H. W. Bush honored our servicemen and women with a parade in Washington, D.C., that drew a crowd of 200,000 people at a cost of $12 million.

That National Victory Celebration saw tributes pour in from across the nation for our troops, with armored vehicles and missile systems rolling on the streets of Washington and New York while stealth fighter planes flew across the skies above. Patriot missiles, M270 multiple launch rocket systems and M109 self-propelled howitzers were towed down Pennsylvania Avenue as a Harrier jump jet landed on the Mall.

The almost 27-year absence of military parades in the intervening years is because few recognize that America has won clear and decisive victories in conflicts around the globe.

Threats like the Islamic State group, which took over vast swaths of territory in the Middle East, have scattered across the deserts and into the protection of European welfare systems like the vermin they are.

Indeed, in 2011, even Obama approved the the idea of a ticker-tape parade in New York City to honor veterans of the Iraq War. At the time, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow said she supported the idea, declaring: “I would go, and so would everyone I know.”

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Not anymore.

Today, those same voices decry Trump as a neo-Napoleon or an authoritarian in the making. This hysteria, as is often the case with the self-hating left, completely misses the point. A show of military might is exactly what the country needs right now.

In this fractious era, the United States military is one of the few, if not the only, institutions left that the majority of our population loves and admires. Americans across the political spectrum understand that the military helps keep our country, families and future safe and free.

More than that, in a world that continues to see threats from Iran to North Korea, a military parade would be a signal to the world that America is back, baby, with our hands untied and standing up like armed giants on the world stage.

Mathew Davis is an Iraq War veteran and a lifelong conservative who works as a freelance writer and web developer in Phoenix. He served his country proudly for eight years in combat before returning to build a home in his state of Arizona as a husband and proud father of three children. He holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering and is a lifelong supporter of the Cardinals.

The views expressed in this opinion article are those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by the owners of this website. If you are interested in contributing an Op-Ed to The Western Journal, you can learn about our submission guidelines and process here.

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