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Here’s How To Do Trump’s Parade

President Trump wants a parade. I say, let him have it. But let’s do it American style. He’s suggesting an Independence Day event. Terrific idea, but, to avoid the punishing afternoon heat, let’s do the march down Pennsylvania Avenue at about nine in the morning. At the end of the march have the tanks, infantry carriers, and artillery pieces do a right flank march onto the National Mall and join their active-duty and veteran comrades in a “Grand Encampment.”

The precedent for a Grand Encampment in Washington dates back to post-Civil War America when veterans of the “Grand Army of the Republic” celebrated their service by conducting a review down Pennsylvania Avenue. These yearly reviews and encampments lasted well into the 20th century.

Why do this now? It’s simple. Even though the military is our most respected institution very few Americans really know us. In my Vietnam generation virtually every household had a relative or neighbor who served. Today less than one half of one percent of our citizens serve in on active-duty today. No surprise then that very few Americans have even spoken to a soldier.

A Grand Encampment would reintroduce America to its military. It would turn a muscled display of military might into a celebration of our best. Think of the Mall festooned with displays depicting the military’s involvement in global and domestic disaster relief. Military medical personnel would be able to showcase their successful treatment of wounded veterans and highlight our military’s intervention in regions threatened by drought and pandemics.

Our citizens would be allowed to climb on cool military stuff while hanging out and talking shop with young tank and helicopter crewmen. I would invite reenactors from all our wars to camp out on the Mall in period uniforms and teach students a bit about …read more

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