Military parades are usually associated with undemocratic regimes such as North Korea, China and Russia. The military demonstrates how threatening they can be so that the people are afraid to do anything not approved by the authoritarian government.

President Trump claims he was so impressed by the Bastille Day parade in France that he wants to outdo it. However, Bastille Day is a legal holiday adopted by the French senate in 1880 to celebrate French unity and freedom. The French independence parade features horses with plumed riders honoring French tradition.

The U.S. celebration of unity and freedom started with bonfires and evolved into celebrations with fireworks and patriotic music and singing. What would a military parade before the president add to this tradition? Not much for the people of the nation except to add a great deal of expense.

A military parade would, however, offer President Trump an opportunity to look important.

Would he look more like a democratic leader or like the World War II Italian dictator Mussolini with his chin in the air lording it over his people?

Let’s not find out. Members of congress should oppose the expense of a military parade. The present celebrations of fireworks and music offer the American people great opportunities to celebrate unity as free citizens of a democratic nation.

John Hempstead,

La Crosse

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Tomah Journal editor

Steve Rundio is editor of the Tomah Journal. Contact him at 608-374-7785.

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