Military Parade in DC?
Military Parade in DC?
Yeah, I wasn’t impressed when Donnie declared he wants a Red Square-style parade. We’re not a culture of tanks and missiles. I want a military parade, though.
We fetishize military deaths in the United States. I attribute this to two main factors. First, the Puritan roots of the United States. We demand focus on the afterlife. We honor the dead more than the living. Are Forces are not better fighters for that. Let’s cheer them while they’re still with us!
Factor number two focuses around Arlington National Cemetery. The center of military ceremony in many Western countries is the royal palace. There’s Buckingham Palace in London, palaces in Oslo, and Stockholm, and the Vatican, to name a few. We don’t have a royal family in the United States. Our focus is on the dead. Turning the Custis-Lee Plantation into hallowed ground made for an interesting compromise. It gave the Union a way to ceremonially seal the victory over the Southern rebellion. It also raised the leader of the rebels up to a lofty position in our country’s military tradition and heritage. It’s an honorable and distinguished thing to do. Still, it focuses on death and the dead more than we should. ‘
Honoring the living
To facilitate the honoring of military dead, each branch of the service maintains an honor guard in the DC area. The US Army has the Third Regiment, The Old Guard. The Old Guard includes the Caisson Platoon and Escort Platoons, that bear the bodies of our deceased military men and women to their resting places at Arlington. The regiment also includes other units that honor the living, such as the Commander In Chief’s Guard, and the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps.
And that’s not all! There’s the 1st Cavalry Division Horse Cavalry Detachment, part of the 1st Cavalry Division, posted at Fort Hood, in Texas. The Navy has the Naval Ceremonial Guard, Marines are first to fight, but they also have the United States Marine Corps Battle Color Detachment, which includes the USMC Silent Drill Team. There’s the USAF and the US Coast Guard Honor Guards as well. Therefore, we have the personnel for a grand parade!
Don’t forget the USS Constitution, up in Charles Town, Boston! Bring the crew, dressed in their War of 1812-era uniforms down for a parade!
Here’s a list of military ceremonial units.
So, there are the bands! In addition to the Old Guard Fife and Drums, each service has a band in the DC area. Many bases and posts also have excellent bands. Put the DC bands on the street! Bring the service academy bands to DC. Have a contest among the other bands. Let them audition for spots in a grand parade.
Fly the planes! Bring on the US Navy Blue Angels and the USAF Thunderbirds! While the jets fly, don’t forget the Army’s Golden Knights!
Focus on our Forces
So, celebrate the men and women of our Forces, before we put them in the ground! Honor their families! Maybe let some of the spouses and children march/ride in a parade!
Display diversity! Parade people of color, parade gay couples and our TG military personnel! They deserve it more than missiles.