United Nations, United States | AFP | US President Donald Trump on Monday revealed plans to transform America’s Independence Day celebrations next July 4 into a vast military parade, styled on France’s Bastille Day.
“We’re actually thinking about Fourth of July, Pennsylvania Avenue, having a really great parade to show our military strength,” Trump said at the start of a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron on the margins of the UN General Assembly in New York.
During brief remarks, Trump raved about his visit to Paris last July 14 — which featured military fly overs, parades of horse guards, assorted tanks and other military hardware.
“To a large extent, because of what I witnessed we may do something like that on July Fourth in Washington down Pennsylvania Avenue,” said Trump, indicating he had discussed the event with White House chief of staff John Kelly.
“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,” he said. “We’re going to have to try and top it.”
“We’ll see if we can do it this year, but we certainly will be beginning to do that.”
America’s Independence Day is associated with fireworks and barbecues rather than the country’s military might.
Trump aides, speaking on condition of anonymity, have confirmed that they considered a military parade for his inauguration last January.
Since then Trump has embraced military backdrop for several speeches and presidential visits, travelling twice to the USS Ford aircraft carrier.
Just this week he appeared in front of a B-2 bomber at a military base just outside Washington.
This latest plan is sure to fuel criticism from detractors, who allege Trump has struck the type of militaristic tone more commonly seen in authoritarian regimes.