The military parade that United States President Donald J. Trump requested in Washington, D.C. on Veteran’s Day is estimated to cost anywhere from $10 million to $30 million, according to White House budget director Mick Mulvaney in an NPR article.The frivolous event is an excuse for Trump to play Dictator for the Day, reminiscent of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
On the eve of the 2018 Winter Olympics, North Korea held a military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of its military.
Tanks carrying huge Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMS) North Korea officials said are capable of hitting the United States, were seen along with rockets and tens of thousands of soldiers marching and chanting in unison. CNN reported that spectacles like this are not uncommon in North Korea. The President’s request is similar.
Trump wants to show the might of the U.S. military and celebrate the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI.
“I personally believe that it’s bad to celebrate the anniversary of a war because I don’t think war is a good thing…especially during this time. I don’t think the U.S needs to demonstrate their power with a parade. I think they need to invest the money in schools, making more technology [and] better resources to learn,” said Alonso Pineda.
Tanks are included in the plan as well as military aircraft and troops from all branches of services.
The last parade in the U.S. to take place was in 1991. It celebrated the victory of Operation Desert Storm which cost a whopping $12 million. Traditionally in this country, these types of events are for celebrating victories and the end of recent wars, not vanity.
“I don’t support the guy or what he stands for, but I do see that other countries are doing the parade to not only show their power but to celebrate the lost ones in the past. But a lot of the countries are in good shape, the money is extra for them. Not only do we have to have money to celebrate but you need to have money for priorities. You have to have your priorities straight before you celebrate,” said Joseph Galvan.
Galvan spoke about his uncle in Puerto Rico and how they don’t have heating or electricity down there, so it’s difficult to take care of themselves. “The money should be used to do something for immigration,” said Galvan. “Come up with the money and then come up with a plan that will help immigration [get] better.”
According to NPR, attaching the parade to WWI may be an effort to stick with tradition, and avoid being associated with places like North Korea, China and Russia, which all consistently hold military parades, partially for the propaganda value. “I think confidence is silent and insecurity is loud,” said Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) to reporters in the Capitol in an NPR story. “America is the most powerful country in all of human history; you don’t need to show it off.”If we aren’t vigilant, if we sit and watch as the President slowly turns our government into something that resembles a communist regime, then we are no better governed than the dictatorship of North Korea.
“I honestly think he’s not really doing a good job at what he’s supposed to be doing. I feel like he should focus on the bigger problems first before he goes and makes parades,” said Delta student Eunice Navarro. She feels like the money should be used for other things, such as focusing on the shooting in Florida.
To some, this might seem like an opportunity to be patriotic and feel pride for our home. But I think most of us are deeply unsatisfied with where we are as a nation, and don’t feel much like celebrating.
The majority of us look at the price tag of the parade and would rather see that money invested in our education, healthcare and overall quality of life.
Luckily, we are still living in a democracy.
I urge everyone who is able to vote, to do so this year. We need to destroy the old worn out tradition of corrupt politicians getting elected over and over again.
Let’s vote for women, people of color, LGBTQ+ individuals and people with disabilities. We need more representation of the majority of the U.S. in congress, and less of the wealthy, power-hungry politicians.