Don’t forget our history or ignore the lessons within it
After hearing of the estimated cost — $92 million — of a parade he proposed to showcase America’s military, President Donald Trump wisely called the event off. As he noted, that much money could do much good if spent on defense hardware.
Trump suggested the parade in Washington, D.C., after seeing a similar one in France. It has been speculated the U.S. event could be used to commemorate the end of War War I on Nov. 11, 1918. No living Americans served in that conflict, known variously as “the Great War” or “the war to end wars.”
But more than 4.7 million Americans served in the military during World War I. About 116,000 gave their lives. It has been said that those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. So, we suggest, are those who ignore the lessons of the past.
By itself, World War I was a cataclysmic event. In addition, it laid the groundwork for World War II and several of the ongoing international challenges that plague us today.
That needs to be thought about. Those who served need to be honored.
Perhaps a smaller-scale parade, focusing on the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, could be staged in Washington on Nov. 11.
Expensive shows of military hardware need not be part of the program. Our national security strength is in the men and women who serve us in uniform, after all.
Honoring them, living and dead, a century after the guns fell silent in Europe would be appropriate.
It is something the president should consider.