The November 10, 2018, parade will come at a cost of $12 million to US taxpayers, according to three DOD officials' statements on Thursday to several media outlets. The figure is tentative, however, and could increase as planning reaches fruition.
It's not the first, and also not the most expensive, military parade to trek through the streets of DC. Former President George HW Bush held one after the end of the Gulf War in 1991 at a cost of $12 million then, a number that now, due to inflation, would be between $21 and $22 million.
The parade is intended to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of combat in World War I, a then-unprecedented conflict in terms of scale in which the US lost 116,000 servicemembers, either in confirmed deaths in combat or soldiers missing in action — a number that actually pales in comparison to most other major countries that participated.
Fighting in WWI ended with an armistice on November 11, 1918. Trump's military parade was originally planned to take place then but was rescheduled. The day also marks the US holiday of Veterans Day. The DC Veterans Day parade, usually held on November 11, will be consolidated into one parade.
French President Emmanuel Macron will also host world leaders to commemorate the end of WWI on November 11, which is commemorated outside the US as Armistice Day, a holiday with a far more somber tone than its US equivalent. France lost more than a million troops during the Great War.
Trump floated the idea for the parade after seeing Bastille Day celebrations, during which France marks the 1789 storming of the Bastille, an armory and prison for political dissidents, an event that marks the beginning of the French Revolution, with military fanfare.
The DC parade will include "wheeled vehicles only" according to a DOD planning memo. That means tanks won't be rolling down Pennsylvania Avenue as they do in France due to concerns over damage to local infrastructure. A "heavy air component" will be included, however.
Protesters plan to make an appearance. The Answer Coalition's event "Mobilize Against Trump's War Parade! No to War & Racism!" The group calls the parade an "obscene glorification of war and a criminal waste of urgently needed money."
"The War Parade is aimed at stimulating a new war drive that will bring death and destruction to one (or more) of the countries on the Pentagon hit list," the event's Facebook page says, citing Iran, Venezuela and others as potential targets.