(Slate) -- President Trump may finally get his military parade. Trump had mused before his inauguration last year about having the armed forces march through Washington to mark his taking office but was reportedly rebuffed by the Pentagon. But now, according to a report by the Washington Post, plans are underway to make this spectacle a reality. Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Veterans Day have been mentioned as possible dates.
Beyond simply feeding the president’s known proclivity for pomp and pageantry, an impromptu military spectacle of this type would also underline the Trump administration’s deep sense of insecurity and mistrust of American political institutions.
Parades are as old as military history itself. The term parade is derived from the Latin word parare, to prepare—in a military context—for war. Our modern day ideas of parades—soldiers marching in step in perfect unison wearing dress uniforms—can be traced back to the European military drill, originally devised in the 17th century by Maurice of Nassau, Prince of Orange, to quickly maneuver troops into column and line formations in order to discharge volley fire and to attack the enemy with fixed bayonets.
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