Criticism of Trump’s Fourth of July Military parade was scathing. Republicans have reminded us of past US military parades. Were the criticisms of Trump’s Fourth of July parade unfair?

  1. 1942, June 13, New York City. 2.5 million spectators. 500,000 soldiers. Tanks, howitzers, other military hardware. Six months after declaring war.
  2. 1946, January 3, New York City. WW II victory parade. Sherman tanks, other armored vehicles, self-propelled howitzers, flyover by glider towing C-47s. Smaller than the 1942 parade.
  3. 1953, January 21, Washington, DC. Eisenhower’s first inaugurationOne million spectators. 22, 000 servicemen, 5,000 civilians marching. Tanks, other military hardware including an atomic cannon.
  4. 1957, January 20, Washington, DC. Eisenhower’s second inauguration. 750,000 spectators. Seventeen thousand marchers of whom almost 12,000 were military. Military equipment included a ballistic missile.
  5. 1961, January 20, Washington, DC. Kennedy’s inauguration. The parade was almost cancelled because of an 8” snow storm the day before. The route was cleared by the US Army Corp of Engineers, 1,000 DC employees, and 1,700 Boy Scouts. Tanks and marching soldiers.
  6. 1991, June 9, New York City. Gulf War Victory Parade. 24,000 marchers, half of them veterans of Desert Storm. Four million spectators. Patriot Missiles and a jet fighter mounted on trucks. Military trucks, tanks, and vintage military vehicles.
  7. 2019, July 4, Washington, DC. Holiday military celebration. How many marchers? . How many spectators? At least two tanks on flat board trucks. Newspapers did not report numbers. The parks department does not make estimates any more.

The biggest military parades have been in New York City. They were about the national unity in war..

The Inaugural parades were in Washington. Whether the military is a part or not, they are about unifying the country around the incoming or returning president.

Trump’s introduction of the military to the Fourth of July was an innovation. Because the holiday is about our rebellion against England, having the military in and of itself is not offensive. Vintage weaponry might be better, though.

Trump’s  disinterest in unifying the country is offensive. No speech about national unity (which is what he spoke about) can offset his divisive actions and hateful rhetoric. His way of being President is offensive, not a couple of tanks in a parade