President Trump has reportedly directed the Department of Defense to stage a military parade on November 11, Veterans Day, according to a memo written by National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster. The memo was sent from McMaster to Secretary of Defense James Mattis, and says that the President to be briefed on “concepts of operation for this event”
The Pentagon has confirmed that it was in receipt of the President’s orders.
A January 18 meeting with top generals at the Pentagon served as the nexus of the event. The president made it known that he wanted to see a parade like the one he had witnessed in France several months earlier.
The president was reportedly dazzled by celebrations put on in France last July for Bastille Day. He and First Lady Melania Trump attended those events. The parade also commemorated the 100th anniversary of the U.S.’ entry into WWI in 1917.
“It was one of the greatest parades I’ve ever seen,” Trump said to reporters afterward. “It was two hours on the button, and it was military might, and I think a tremendous thing for France and for the spirit of France.”
Speaking to French President Emmanuel Macron some two months later, the president still had the events on his mind. “We’re going to have to try to top it,” he said.
McMaster’s memo also indicated that the parade route should begin at the White House and end at the Capitol. It is unclear at this time whether the President will participate in the parade or just review it. Macron participated in France’s parade, riding in an open-top military vehicle alongside the former chief of the French armed forces surrounded by military officers on horseback.