Donald Trump is planning a grand military parade in Washington this year – and it’s likely to go past one of his own hotels.
The US president is thought to have been inspired by the Bastille Day celebrations he attended in Paris last year, but is keen that his own display of military might will top his French inspiration.
The Washington Post revealed that Mr Trump instructed his top generals at a meeting in January to start planning a parade, with an anonymous official quoted as saying: “The marching orders were: I want a parade like the one in France.”
After the Bastille Day celebrations last year, Mr Trump told reporters it was “one of the greatest parades I’ve ever seen”, later telling French President Emmanuel Macron: “We’re going to have to try to top it.”
Following the story by The Washington Post, both the White House and the Pentagon reportedly confirmed the plans, with White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders saying that the President had asked the US Department of Defence to “explore a celebration at which all Americans can show their appreciation”.
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It is not yet known when or where the parade would take place or what role Mr Trump would have, though it is thought the president will make sure any route goes past his own Trump International Hotel.
The Washington Post reported that Mr Trump had said he would like the parade to proceed along Pennsylvania Avenue, which links the Capitol and the White House.
Concerns have been voiced in some quarters that such a parade would echo some of the military displays seen in Russia or North Korea.
But the White House official reportedly rejected the suggestion, saying it would be a “celebration of the men and women who give us freedom.”