How to Have a Parade That Honors the Troops Instead of Politicians

Soldiers of the allied coalition carry their national flags past the reviewing stand and President Bush in Washington on Saturday, June 8, 1991 during the National Victory Parade. (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)

Donald Trump’s proposed military parade has been tainted by his own reputation. Here’s how to honor the troops and not politicians.


Soldiers of the allied coalition carry their national flags past the reviewing stand and President Bush in Washington on Saturday, June 8, 1991 during the National Victory Parade. (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)

A military parade done well honors the volunteers who put their lives on the line for freedom. A military parade done poorly morphs into our own version of the old Communist May Day parade at Red Square. It’s important we keep the focus on the right people.

As David French points out, the right people do deserve some recognition:

So how do we get this done in a respectful way? It’s very simple: Hold the event in a way that politicians are left silent and without the spotlight. Political figures like Donald Trump and Mike Pence must not speak before or after the parade. They must give way to veterans.

If anyone speaks at the event, it must be Secretary Jim Mattis. Mattis, of everyone in the administration, has a reputation for respecting those who served under him when he was a General. He would never turn this event into one that honors politicians.

We can do this. We can celebrate the people who have done so much around the world, without letting a toxic politician ruin it.