The symbolism behind President Trump’s call for a grand military parade

Feb 7, 2018

U.S. President Donald Trump Hosts Law Enforcement Round Table On MS-13

U.S. President Donald Trump hosts a law enforcement round table on MS-13 at the White House on February 6, 2018 in Washington, DC.; Credit: Pool/Getty Images


The Washington Post reported yesterday that Trump’s dreams for a Bastille Day-inspired parade on U.S. soil are beginning to solidify.

According to The Post, the parade would potentially involve marching heavy tanks and other military showmanship down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D.C.

Military parades are somewhat rare in the U.S., but they have occurred during various moments in history, such as the presidential inauguration of John F. Kennedy and the ending of Operation Desert Storm.

But a parade is a symbol, so what would this one mean? We discuss the motivation and implication behind an event such as this, and welcome your thoughts on how you feel about a military display such as the one Trump is aiming to host.


Douglas Brinkley, presidential historian and professor of history at Rice University; Fellow, James Baker, III Institute for Public Policy

Brian McAllister Linn, professor of history at Texas A&M University; he specializes in military history and war


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