Readers React: Marching in Trump’s military parade won’t honor the troops — but it will make them miserable

President Trump's visit to Paris on July 14, 2017 — where he watched a Bastille Day parade — reportedly inspired him to ask the Pentagon for a military parade in Washington.
President Trump’s visit to Paris on July 14, 2017 — where he watched a Bastille Day parade — reportedly inspired him to ask the Pentagon for a military parade in Washington.
(Christophe Archambault / AFP/Getty Images)

To the editor: If President Trump truly wants to honor the military, making it put on a parade in Washington on a cold Veterans Day in November is the wrong way. (“Pentagon says Trump ordered a Washington military parade,” Feb. 6)

As a veteran who marched in many parades, including an Inauguration Day parade, I can say that it isn’t any fun. It also takes time and money away from training, and it requires military personnel to work a very long day. Thousands of troops and heavy equipment will have to be moved into and out of Washington.

For the service personnel, it means giving up a three-day weekend. It means standing around for hours in the cold weather waiting for the parade to begin. It means training for a month to march in the parade.


The president’s parade would not be worth the time and money that could be put to much better use. If Trump really wants to honor the military, give it an extra day off. That would be really appreciated.

Jack Allen, Pacific Palisades


To the editor: The United States has been at war now for 17 years. These wars have been fought by about 1% of the population. The rest of us have gone about our business without any sacrifice or thought about the fighting.

During the Vietnam War, Trump got five deferments, including one for bone spurs in his foot. Now he says he wants a parade to honor the men and women serving in our military.

What he should do is take a walk around Arlington National Cemetery or go to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. He should read the names and meditate on the sacrifice made by Americans whose lives were cut short while he was safe at home.

Would the military parade, which could cost millions of taxpayer’s dollars, be held to honor the troops or for the vanity of our president? The American people don’t want a big parade to show our might — the American people want peace.


Alba Farfaglia, San Clemente


To the editor: The same president who now wants a parade criticized our military’s deterioration during the previous administration. This week, he welcomed a government shutdown if Congress did not agree to spend billions more on improving our armed forces; this is the same man who received five draft deferments during the Vietnam War.

I believe that millions of Americans will show up for Trump’s parade — maybe not in Washington, but surely on the streets of cities and towns across America. These millions will be protesting the continuing debasement of American ideals.

I, a veteran of the Vietnam conflict (full disclosure: at a remote post in Thailand), will be among them.

Denys Arcuri, Indio

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