February 18, 2019
While speaking with the press recently, Donald Trump suggested a “Salute to America Parade” with the hopes it would become “tradition.”
President Trump would like to celebrate Independence Day in Washington DC with a parade, as he told press on February 12:
“We’re thinking about doing, on the 4th of July or thereabouts, a parade, a Salute to America Parade. I guess it’d be really more of a gathering than a parade. Perhaps at the Lincoln Memorial. We’re looking at sites. But we’re thinking about doing something that would, perhaps, become a tradition.”
People got confused, as Washington already has a sizeable 4th of July parade each year, watched by hundreds of thousands of people, as one follower on Twitter pointed out:
According to the parade’s website, the annual event consists of, “Invited bands, fife and drum corps, floats, military, and specialty units, giant balloons, equestrian, drill teams, VIPs, national dignitaries, and celebrity participants.”
President Trump seemed unaware of this annual parade, but aware of “one of the country’s largest fireworks displays,” as he added:
“The fireworks (are) there anyway, so we just saved on fireworks. We get free fireworks because it’s already being done. So, that’s very good.”
Donald Trump suggested the Lincoln Memorial as a setting for his proposed parade. However, many families already gather there every year to watch the grand fireworks display.
Later at the midday Cabinet meeting, Trump put David Bernhardt, the acting Interior Secretary, in charge of the event. A spokesperson for Bernhardt’s department told CNN that President Trump’s parade is a “great idea” while working to present “the best options to the White House.”
"The Department of Defense and White House have been planning a parade to honor America's military veterans and commemorate the centennial of World War I. We originally targeted November 10, 2018, for this event but have now agreed to explore opportunities in 2019."
The postponed parade would have taken place a day before the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended the First World War. The French President, Emmanuel Macron, is set to hold a gathering on November 11, where world leaders will gather in Paris to celebrate the anniversary.
Earlier in the month, Donald Trump called a military parade “great for the spirit of the country,” as long as it came at a “reasonable cost.”
After an administration reportedly told CNN that the military parade would cost an estimate of $92 million, Defense Secretary James Mattis denied any such costing figures and said to reporters during a South America trip:
"I have not seen an estimate of $92 million; the estimates are coming to me. I've given the initial guidance, but I have received no such estimate ... I haven't received an estimate of 10 million or 92 million."
The administration official added that the White House got informed about the decision, but CNN had been unable to get a comment from the White House regarding the postponement.
After Donald Trump declared a national state of emergency to get funds for his wall last week, celebrity Alec Baldwin mocked President Trump over his emergency declaration when he appeared on “SNL” recently.