WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is pushing ahead with the idea of throwing a grand parade to honor U.S. armed forces, brushing aside Democratic criticism.

In response to Sen. Dick Durbin’s comment that such a parade would be a “fantastic waste of money,” White House legislative director Marc Short tells MSNBC: “I’m not sure honoring the military is a waste of money.”

Short says it’s too early to know how much the parade would cost.The last time a national military parade was held in the capital was June 1991 to celebrate the U.S. victory in the first Gulf War.

“Eight thousand Desert Storm troops marched in the national parade, 200,000 people watched the parade,” CBS News reported. According to The Washington Post, it cost $8 million.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed President Donald Trump’s request for a parade on Tuesday.

gettyimages 910569116 White House Pushing Ahead With Trumps Request For Military Parade

US President Donald Trump looks on during a ceremony before delivering a speech during the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting on January 26, 2018 in Davos, eastern Switzerland.  (credit: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

She says Trump wants the Pentagon to “explore a celebration” that would allow Americans to show appreciation for the military.

A Pentagon spokesman, Charlie Summers, says Pentagon officials are aware of the request and are “looking at options.”

John Kirby, a retired Navy rear admiral and former spokesman for the State Department and the Pentagon, reposted on Twitter Tuesday night an article he wrote for CNN’s website last summer after Trump mentioned he had been dazzled by the Paris parade. Kirby said a big military parade in Washington is a bad idea.

“First of all, the United States doesn’t need a parade down Pennsylvania or any other avenue to show our military strength,” he wrote. “We do that every day in virtually every clime all over the world.”

It has long been conventional wisdom that the U.S. does not need to boast of its military strength because it already is recognized as the leader of the NATO alliance and a model of military professionalism that countries across the global seek to emulate.

Last September, at a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, Trump announced his idea of staging a grand parade of the armed forces in Washington on July 4.

Trump reminisced about watching France’s Bastille Day military parade when he visited Paris in July. He said the two-hour parade was a “tremendous thing for France and for the spirit of France,” and said he wanted one on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington that would be grander than the one he saw in Paris.

(© Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) 

Comments

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More From CBS Denver

Together 4 Colorado
NEWS TEAM
Future Leaders