US President Donald Trump has asked the Pentagon to organise a large military parade in the nation’s capital.
The president made the request of top military chiefs in late January, after reportedly being impressed by a French Bastille Day parade last year.
“It was one of the greatest parades I’ve ever seen,” he later said. “We’re going to have to try and top it.”
Democrats compared the plan to displays of military might organised by autocratic nations.
The plan was first revealed by the Washington Post, before being confirmed by the White House press secretary, Sarah Sanders.
“President Trump is incredibly supportive of America’s great service members who risk their lives every day to keep our country safe,” she said.
“He has asked the Department of Defense to explore a celebration at which all Americans can show their appreciation.”
Military displays in Washington DC are usually only used to mark victory at the end of a war.The Pentagon is now looking at the details of the event, though one White House official told the Washington Post plans were still at a “brainstorming” stage.US media linked the plan to Mr Trump’s admiration for a military parade he attended in Paris in July last year.
The occasion, marking 100 years since America entered World War One, saw troops march down the Champs-Élysées, accompanied by dozens of military vehicles, flyovers of military aircraft, and traditional mounted cavalry.
Commentators say a US parade would be extremely expensive, given the cost of bringing military hardware and personnel to the capital and protecting its streets from tanks designed for war zones.