Pentagon Approves Military Parade — Without Tanks

The Pentagon says it is planning a military parade requested by U.S. President Donald Trump later this year, but says the celebrations will not include tanks because they could damage Washington’s roads.

Trump asked the military last month to explore the possibility of staging a military parade in the nation’s capital on Nov. 11, Veterans Day.

A Pentagon memo released Friday said the parade will end with a “heavy air component,” meaning many airplanes flying overhead.

“Include wheeled vehicles only, no tanks — consideration must be given to minimize damage to local infrastructure,” the memo said.

The memo was written by the office of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to give initial guidance to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, which will stage the parade.

The Pentagon memo did not include a cost estimate for the parade. The White House budget director recently told Congress the cost to taxpayers could be between $10 million and $30 million. 

The guidance said the parade should focus on the “contributions of U.S. military veterans throughout history,” starting from the American Revolutionary War, and should include veterans wearing period uniforms. It said the airplanes used at the end of the parade should also include “older aircraft, as available.”

Trump should be surrounded in the reviewing area at the Capitol by veterans and Medal of Honor recipients, the memo said.

The Pentagon said the parade, which will travel from the White House to the U.S. Capitol, should place an “emphasis on the price of freedom.”

The Veterans Day holiday this year coincides with the 100-year anniversary of the end of World War I.

The inspiration to hold a military parade came from the president’s trip to France last year when he and first lady Melania Trump watched Bastille Day events in Paris July 14, as the guests of French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife, Brigitte.

Military parades in the United States are generally rare. In 1991, U.S. troops paraded through Washington to celebrate the ousting of Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi forces from Kuwait in the Gulf War.

National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin and the Associated Press contributed to this story.

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