President Donald Trump's military parade originally planned for November has been scrapped - at least for this year - according to a new statement from the Pentagon Thursday night.
In February, White House budget director Mick Mulvaney put the cost at $10 million to $30 million. "When asked to give us a price for holding a great celebratory military parade, they wanted a number so ridiculously high that I cancelled it", Trump tweeted Friday morning. "It was two hours on the button, and was military might, and I think a tremendous thing for France and the spirit of France".
Officials said the parade plans had not yet been approved by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss early planning estimates that had not yet been finalised or released publicly.
Trump has also embraced military backdrop for several speeches and presidential visits.
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There are reasons to doubt it will happen at all, as estimates of the cost of the parade are soaring, and appears to be drying up a lot of the interest in a gaudy display of America's military arsenal.
Lt. Col. Jamie Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said earlier Thursday that Defense Department planning for the parade "continues and final details are still being developed". But the veterans group believes that with troops still deployed overseas in the fight against terrorism, "the parade money would be better spent fully funding the Department of Veterans Affairs and giving our troops and their families the best care possible". Big, heavy tanks could tear up streets in the District of Columbia.
President Trump on Friday blamed local officials for his decision to postpone a grand military parade in Washington this fall, alleging without evidence that they had unreasonably inflated the price.
Such large parades have been rare in recent US history, though the George H.W. Bush administration staged a military parade in Washington in 1991 after the conclusion of the Persian Gulf War.
The president developed parade envy after watching a military parade in Paris, when he was a guest of French President Emmanuel Macron for Bastille Day festivities in 2017.
"The American Legion appreciates that our President wants to show in a dramatic fashion our nation's support for our troops", Rohan said. The focus was to be on the work of United States military veterans through the ages, starting with the American Revolutionary War.