OPINION | Barry Richard: A Military Parade Would Be Great
Mention a military parade and images come to mind of Russia, China or North Korea, right? How about Fidel and Adolph? They enjoyed trotting out the military hardware for special occasions.
President Trump has suggested the Pentagon examine the idea of a military celebration in Washington, D.C. that would include a parade. As you might expect heads are exploding all over the place. Hell, I even read online that some have threatened to lay down in front of any tanks that might be used in such a parade. A little extreme, no?
What is the big opposition to a military parade?
A thoughtful veteran of the War on Terrorism called my show today to say that most vets would be embarrassed by a parade. He said many of the tributes to today's warriors are "over the top" and "a bit much." He also said it would be shameful to put wounded warriors on display in that way. Really? That is certainly a reality for that brave veteran. But, is it true for all?
Others have protested the cost of such a celebration. The last military parade in D.C. was in 1991 to mark the end of the Gulf War. The cost was $12 million. Money well spent.
Our military has been engaged in conflict since the war in Afghanistan began in late 2001. So many have sacrificed so much so that the rest of us could sacrifice not much at all. I think a national celebration of our Armed Forces is a wonderful idea. It could involve veterans of all conflicts from all across the nation.
I'm sure we could fund the celebration through private sources, though $12 million is not much money when compared to our national budget. Perhaps the NFL might want to mend fences with our service people and could help pay for the parade.
A tasteful celebration including a parade would be good for our country and might serve to bring a divided people closer together.
What say you?
Editor's Note: Barry Richard is the afternoon host on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from Noon-3 p.m. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.