President Trump’s plans for a Veterans Day military parade through the streets of Washington DC have been delayed until at least 2019, a BBC News reported on Friday.
Mr Trump was impressed by France’s Bastille Day parade on a visit in 2017 and said the US could “top it”. But figures released on Thursday suggested the event could cost about $90 million (£71m) – more than three times the original estimate.
Critics had also made comparisons to parades in countries led by autocrats. The parade was originally conceived to mark the centenary of the end of World War One, on 11 November.A Pentagon spokesperson, Colonel Rob Manning, said in a statement that the Department of Defense and the White House “have now agreed to explore opportunities in 2019”.
The parade’s budget director had offered an estimate of between $10m (£7.8m) and $30m (£23.6m) when the White House announced its request in February. But a US official gave a new estimate of $92m. A memo when the plan was first mooted said no tanks would be used so as not to damage the roads of the nation’s capital.
The city’s governing District of Columbia Council was critical of the plan when announced, voicing its displeasure on Twitter. Members of the Democratic party were similarly sceptical, with congressman Jim McGovern declaring it “an absurd waste of money” on Twitter and saying Mr Trump “acts more like dictator than president”.
The Pentagon said the military would march from the White House to the Capitol, and the parade would feature a “heavy air component at the end”. The focus was to be on the work of US military veterans through the ages, starting with the American Revolutionary War.
US media pointed out that Donald Trump cancelled planned military exercises with South Korea in June after his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on the grounds it would “save a fortune”.The US had a military parade in 1991 following the end of its successful campaign to force Saddam Hussein’s troops out of Kuwait.