Trump wants big military parade on July 4 to show 'strength'

Olivier Knox
Chief Washington Correspondent

President Trump announced Monday that he wants to showcase America’s military power with an Independence Day parade of martial assets down Pennsylvania Avenue, inspired by the two-hour display he witnessed in Paris on Bastille Day.

“We’re actually thinking about Fourth of July, Pennsylvania Avenue, having a really great parade to show our military strength,” Trump said as he met with French President Emmanuel Macron on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly. Trump said he was discussing such an event with White House chief of staff John Kelly, and added: “We’ll see if we can do it this year, but we certainly will be beginning to do that.”

In Paris on July 14, Trump had watched raptly for two hours as French and American troops marched past a VIP reviewing stand on the city’s fabled Champs-Élysées avenue. Armored personnel carriers, tanks and missile launchers had rumbled past while scores of military jets and helicopters roared through the sky.

“It was one of the greatest parades I’ve ever seen,” Trump said Monday. “It was military might, and I think a tremendous thing for France, for the spirit of France, and people don’t know what great warriors they are in France.”

President Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron attend the traditional Bastille Day military parade in Paris. (Photo: Michel Euler/AP)

Trump continued, “And to a large extent, because of what I witnessed, we may do something like that on July 4 in Washington down Pennsylvania Avenue,” where the White House is located.

“We’re going to have to try and top it. But we had a lot of planes going over, and we had a lot of military might and it was really a beautiful thing to see. They had representatives from different wars in different uniforms. It was really so well done,” the president said.

“We’re spending this year 700 billion, more than we’ve ever spent, on the military, which is good news for you ’cause we’re friends,” Trump told Macron. “And I think we really, we’re looking forward to doing that.”

Trump spent this July 4 hosting military families at the White House.

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