Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton says President Donald Trump’s plan for a military parade in Washington would shut down the city and waste millions of dollars for no good reason other than to feed the president’s ego.
The White House has confirmed that the president has asked the Pentagon to plan a grand parade of the U.S. armed forces with soldiers marching and tanks rolling down Pennsylvania Avenue to celebrate military strength.
“President’s Trump’s desire to spend millions of taxpayer dollars on a military parade in the style of authoritarian leaders he admires would feed his ego and perhaps his base, rather than serve any legitimate purpose or keep with any long-held American traditions,” Norton (D-DC) said in a statement released Wednesday afternoon.
“While the District of Columbia, as the nation’s capital, is proud to host grand federal celebrations, such as the inauguration, we will fight a shutdown of our city that simply assuages Trump’s desire to brag and boast in a series of tweets,” Norton said.
Speaking on CNN about the president's plan for a parade, Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) said, "I was stunned by it....We have a Napoleon in the making here."
After watching France's Bastille Day military parade when he visited Paris in July, Trump 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.
Norton agreed with military leaders who have said the United States doesn’t need gaudy shows of strength because the whole world knows America has the strongest, best equipped military.
John Kirby, a retired rear admiral in the US Navy land a CNN National Security Analyst wrote in September about Trump's desire for a military parade, saying "The last thing we need is a July Fourth military parade."
“Instead of wasting precious taxpayer resources, the way to show our service members and veterans that we appreciate their service is to use the military parade money to fund their health care and other services they need now,” Norton said.