In the name of honoring those who have fought for our country, President Donald Trump has reportedly proposed taking Veterans Day a step further this year — and his inspiration came from abroad.
According to Politico, Trump’s plan was sent out in a memo from National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster to Secretary of Defense James Mattis on Tuesday. The plan proposed the idea of a military parade that would take place on Nov. 11.
The memo details what the basic layout of the route — which would begin at the White House and end at the Capitol — would require, and asked the Pentagon chief to brief Trump on the “concepts of operation” for the event.
However, though the parade itself is to honor those who have served America, Trump has admitted that the idea came from his visit to France back in July.
During the trip, Trump attended France’s “Bastille Day” parade in Paris, with the commander in chief stating that he was greatly inspired by the “magnificent” parade, The Daily Caller reported.
“It was one of the greatest parades I’ve ever seen,” Trump told reporters at a news conference with French President Emmanuel Macron. “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 added.
And though Trump insisted the patriotic display would be good for the “spirit” of the U.S., he said that all plans would be scrapped if the cost is too much.
“We’ll see if we can do it at a reasonable cost,” Trump told Fox News’ Jeanine Pirro in an interview broadcast Saturday. “If we can’t, we won’t do it.”
However, the president withheld how much money would be too much, although White House budget director Mick Mulvaney has already estimated the parade would set the nation back to the tune of at least $10 million.
As word has spread of the White House plans, many have taken to social media to express their appreciation or dislike of the controversial idea.
Regardless of the method, Trump’s desire to honor veterans seems to be rooted in good intentions, especially considering the literal and figurative battles current and former members of the military face.
Though it varies across regions and between generations, veterans nationwide struggle with poverty more so than the general population, according to The Washington Post.
Nearly 39,000 veterans were estimated to be homeless in 2016 alone, and those with disabilities and/or mental illness faced even worse conditions as they were more likely to become “food insecure,” The Post reported.
And advocates have been demanding that more be done for both veterans and active-duty military members, especially with the latter’s families often struggling financially. The Department of Defense reported that more than half of the children in Pentagon-run schools qualify for free or reduced-price lunch — indicating a dire need for change.
“We’d like to get that issue resolved as soon as possible,” said Josh Protas, the head of government relations for the anti-hunger organization Mazon. “Needless to say, it’s important.”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.