Christopher Rainwater: President Trump’s call for a military parade
February 9, 2018
President Trump's call for a grand military parade, inspired by his recent attendance at such a parade in France, has been met with groans that such a parade is inappropriate in the U.S.
Comments from the left call the President's idea war mongering. Others say that such a parade is beneath the U.S. as indicated by the fact that countries like North Korea, Russia and China hold military parades. Nonetheless, I believe that these views fail to consider the benefits of such a parade.
Perhaps not since President Reagan has the nation had a president who is as unabashedly patriotic as President Trump. Like Reagan's investment in our military following the malaise of the Carter administration, President Trump is pouring billions of much needed funding into America's Armed Forces.
Trump seems to understand, as did Reagan, that military weakness encourages America's enemies to underestimate our nation and therefore makes war more likely. Alternatively, American strength serves to discourage adventurism by our adversaries and makes war less likely.
Consequently, parades such as that proposed by the President serve to proudly display something that all Americans should rejoice in – a military that is second to none and that is ready to protect the freedoms we enjoy and all too often seems to be taken for granted.
A parade also serves another very important purpose: it gives Americans the opportunity to honor our men and women in uniform and to say, "Thank you," for their selfless service to our nation.
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Such pageantry used to be a normal sight in our nation; however, to see such a parade today, one would have to serve on or be employed at one of our larger military bases. Civilians forget that such parades are common on military installations where they serve to commemorate change of commands, retirements, graduations and more.
In order to honor the men and women in uniform, people turn out in large numbers for these parades. The military bands, the dress uniforms, the thunder of cannons, and the roar of jet engines as fighter planes pass overhead all serve as exciting reminders of the greatness of our nation.
I encourage Americans, regardless of their political positions, to support a grand show of patriotism such as a military parade would afford. After all, it's been nearly 30 years since our nation's Armed Forces were hailed as they marched in parade for the Republic, and perhaps it's time for Americans to once again proudly stand together and pay a well-deserved tribute to these fine Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coastguardsmen.
May God bless the United States of America.
Always proud to be a veteran,
Dr. Christopher S. Rainwater, MPA, MSOH, CSMP