A military parade consists of the arrangement of soldiers in a manner that restricts their movement. It includes acts of maneuvering like drilling or marching. Military parades are mainly ceremonial activities. Before now, and till the 19th-century, soldiers engaged in armed conflicts and wars while in formation.
So, why doesn’t the US have military parades?
A military parade is a ceremony where the military display their armory in an organized formation showcasing their uniforms, drills, and some of their sophisticated weapons. Before this time, the US had lots of military parades. However, it no longer has such military parades. The reason for that is that there are no more wars that require the US to carry out military parades.
The History Of US Military Parade
It is essential to note that the US once had eras, where they carried out massive military parades. It is not as if they were never involved in military parades before this time. Let us take a look at when the US participated in Military parades.
In 1953, there was an inaugural parade for President Dwight Eisenhower. About 22,000 military service members got involved in this parade, and a cannon that can fire a nuclear warhead was also in display. It was the most elaborate inaugural pageant ever held in the history of the USA.
In 1919, the year preceding World War 1 that began in 1914 and ended in 1918, the US Marines led by General John J. Pershing marched down Fifth Avenue in New York City. There were about 25,000 arrayed in their full battle attires who took part in the parade, and they did it twice within a week.
There was the 1942 Army Day Parade, which saw more than thirty thousand men and women March down Fifth Avenue in New York City. It received the tag as the first significant military display during the war (WWII). It lasted for about eleven hours.
There were also victory parades that celebrated the end of the war, and the 82nd Airborne Division under General James M. Gavin performed an incredible display also down the same Fifth Avenue in New York City where the parade held during the war.
The 1961 parade for the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy witnessed sailors and soldiers aboard navy boats with dozens of missiles towed along Pennsylvania Avenue. Also, on March 24th and 25th of 1865, there was the parade for the grand review of the Armies. The parade organized by President Andrew Johnson was to mark the end of the civil war hostilities and to review the troops formally.
In 1991, there was a victory parade to celebrate the end of the Persian Gulf War. On display were Stealth Fighters planes, which passed overhead of about 200,000 people and tanks. The Patriot missiles stole the ground display. Later on, fireworks were on display, which now attracted extra 600,000 persons making it a total of nothing less than 800,000 spectators. More than 8,000 troops participated in this particular parade. They marched down the Constitution Avenue of Washington, DC.
Why Did Military Parades Stop In The US?
From the history of military parade in the US, the primary reason that would come to mind for stopping military parade in the US is that there are no more wars. Most of the military shows that took place were to mark victories from battles or the end of a fight. Since there are no more World War or civil wars that soldiers have to engage in combat with the soldiers of any enemy state, the need for a review of the Armies became extinct.
Furthermore, President Donald Trump had a setback with his proposed fourth of July military parade as a celebration in which all Americans can show their appreciation to the men and women in uniform. It is safe to say from the reasons of those who opposed it that another reason for the US not having a military parade is cost.
The people believe that the military parade takes a lot of money and resources to organize and execute. Therefore, it would be a waste of the nation’s resources to budget for and complete such a project. Also, military parades mostly hold in totalitarian or dictatorship countries. Since the US is a democratic State and need not oppress its citizens, there is no need for such parades.
They believe that since the US is the highest or top the rank of World power; it need not show others that it is dominant by the display of its military strength. There is no need to mimic other countries. The fact that others are doing it does not mean the US must do it.
Flowing from the earlier discussion, we can, therefore, conclude that, although the US had military parades in time past, they do not have it anymore. The reasons are that it is costly, they are the World power who need not prove its military strength, they operate a democratic system of government, and the wars are over. These are why the US doesn’t have military parades.
The national celebrations that had military parades stopped after 1991. The American state no longer saw the need to waste such a tremendous amount of tax payer’s money to continue to carry out these parades that were so expensive.