Every year on Veterans Day, thousands of Americans gather to pay tribute to their local veterans, past and present. In our small town, I remember the solemn cadence of a single drum that led us to the local cemetary where we honored our fallen.
According to an NPR report The Pentagon says a military parade requested by President Trump will be held this year in Washington on Veterans Day to honor those who have served in the military from the Revolutionary War through today.
The report goes on to say that according to the official memo "the parade will integrate with the annual DC Veterans Day parade and focus on the contributions of US veterans from the Revolutionary War to today 'with an emphasis on the price of freedom.' "(1)
The memo also asserts that the parade will exclude tanks in order to minimize damage to Washington DC streets.
The Associated Press reports that the White House budget director recently told Congress the cost to taxpayers could be between $10m and $30m. (2)
According to a recent story in Newsweek, a $10 million military parade—Director Mulvaney's lowest estimate, although the estimate included tanks, could provide $249.65 for all 40,056 homeless veterans. That could provide each of those veterans 44.5 meals priced at $5.61 per meal—the highest national cost estimate, according to Feeding America—enough for three meals a day for 14.8 days.(3)
Adjusting the cost per meal to the national average of $2.94, homeless veterans could eat three meals a day for nearly a month.
Media skill in talking the talk, but two left feet when walking the walk is exasperating. Most experts, talking heads, and news anchors agree that this parade is an expensive and unnecessary idea, one prompted by Trump's fascination with France's Bastille Day parade last summer.
Still, I'll bet that all the network news—both commercial and cable—will have their cameras and their anchors at the ready. Print media will also be well represented by photographers and journalists. I'm sure we'll get a minute by minute, play by play of the event unless We, The People do something to stop it.
The way to stand up to Trump's corruption must be grass roots, public outcry. The American people must boycott Trump's waste of tax payers' dollars and it starts now.
- We must encourage both broadcast and print news media not to publicize or cover this event before, during, or after the fact.
- We must support advertisers who refuse to sponsor coverage and withhold support from those who do sponsor the parade.
- We must continue to support those Representatives and Senators who do speak out and who vote against Federal corruption and waste of every kind.
We may not be able to stop this fiasco, but we must let the Federal government know that we will not stand for exploitation of our military, that our soldiers are not toys for Trump's gratification.
- Ryan Browne, “Exclusive: Trump Getting a Military Parade but No Tanks,” CNN, accessed April 8, 2018, https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/09/politics/pentagon-memo-trump-military-parade/index.html.
- .Associated Press in Washington, “Thanks but No Tanks: Trump’s Military Parade Will Not Include Heavy Vehicles,” the Guardian, March 10, 2018, http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/mar/10/donald-trump-military-parade-tanks-pentagon-memo.
- Ryan Sit On 3/11/18 at 11:05 AM, “Even Conservatively Estimated, Trump Could Feed Every Homeless Veteran for the Cost of His Military Parade,” Newsweek, March 11, 2018, http://www.newsweek.com/donald-trump-feed-homeless-veterans-cost-military-parade-839813.