President Donald Trump has asked the Pentagon to plan a grand parade of the U.S. armed forces in Washington this year to celebrate military strength, officials said Tuesday.
The Washington Post, which was first to report the plan, said Trump wants an elaborate parade this year with soldiers marching and tanks rolling, but no date has been selected.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed the request Tuesday evening. She said Trump wants the Pentagon to “explore a celebration” that will allow Americans to show appreciation for the military.
A Pentagon spokesman, Charlie Summers, said Pentagon officials are aware of the request and are “looking at options.”
Muscular military parades of the kind that are common in authoritarian countries like China and North Korea are not quintessentially American. The U.S. traditionally has not embraced showy displays of raw military power, such as North Korea’s parading of ballistic missiles as a claim of international prestige and influence.
U.S. military members commonly participate in parades on the Fourth of July and other holidays to mark appreciation and remembrance of military veterans, but these typically do not include gaudy displays of military hardware.