Like many, we’re torn about the notion of a government-orchestrated military parade, which President Trump has asked the Pentagon to draw up.
On the one hand, showing our armed forces some love is good for a country where only half a percent of the population serve and, therefore, fully comprehend military service. And, other than the immediate aftermath of 9/11, we haven’t exactly overdone patriotism.
On the other hand, you can’t compel public spirit. And coming from the White House and Pentagon, a military parade might appear jingoistic to the outside world – and we don’t really need to stoke war fears.
In addition, if such a parade featured big displays of armaments, it would be evocative of the kinds of menacing pageants one associates with communist regimes and dictators. No one in the world needs to see a parade to know how formidable America is.
Outside of non-belligerent demonstrations of pride in our men and women in uniform -- which we’d support, particularly on Veterans Day – a garish show of military might just isn’t necessary or productive.
In a free country, such exhibitions of national pride are probably best left to the private sector.