President Donald Trump has ordered the Pentagon to prepare a massive military parade reflecting American military power and the spirit of the American people, The Washington Post reported Tuesday night, just days before North Korea is expected to march troops, tanks, and missiles through Pyongyang.
“This is being worked at the highest levels of the military,” an anonymous defense official briefed on the plans told WaPo, adding that the big event could be held later this year. A White House official, however, stated that the project is still in the “brainstorming” phase, explaining that “there’s really no meat on the bones.”
Nonetheless, the president is committed to the idea, as Trump “wants to do something that highlights the service and sacrifice of the military and have a unifying moment for the country,” the White House official introduced.
When Americans think of military parades, images of China, Russia, and North Korea come to mind. North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, whom the president calls “Rocket Man,” held a military parade last April, and another one is expected Thursday in the North Korean capital.
Tens of thousands of North Korean troops will march through Kim Il Sung Square alongside missiles and other weapons to showcase North Korean military might. Where North Korean parades are a celebration of an oppressive regime, Trump’s parade would be a “celebration of the men and women who give us freedom,” a White House official revealed.
When it comes to competition with Kim, the military parade is not round one, as the two leaders have traded barbs over who has the bigger nuclear button.
But while the president and Kim exchange jabs on the regular, the idea to hold a military parade was reportedly inspired by France, not the rogue North Korean state.
“The marching orders were: I want a parade like the one in France,” a military official revealed to WaPo.
Trump was amazed by last year’s Bastille Day celebration in Paris, during which he watched as French troops marched down the streets with tanks and other weapons systems while fighter jets flew overhead.
“It was one of the greatest parades I’ve ever seen,” Trump told reporters at a press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron, adding, “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 said.
Trump has long dreamed of a military parade to showcase American power.
“We’re going to show the people as we build up our military,” Trump told WaPo before his inauguration. “That military may come marching down Pennsylvania Avenue. That military may be flying over New York City and Washington, D.C., for parades. I mean, we’re going to be showing our military.”
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