By: Ali Elizabeth Turner

Typically I don’t like to write about events before they happen—in this day of continual media malpractice it comes way too close to just seeming contrived and could be rightfully painted with the “fake news brush.” However, the latest version of “dump on the Trump” with respect to the grand party planned for our nation’s birthday stirred me to take the risk.

Because of the 4th of July holiday, Athens Now had to be produced early, and seeing as I try hard in each edition to have at least a few things that are tied to local or national events in as close to real time as possible, discussing the idea of a parade with a strong military presence before it actually occurs seemed like a necessary conversation.

Question: Is it reasonable for President Trump, or any American president to have a military-based parade connected with the celebration of the birth of our country? The naysayers cite everything from the fact that supposedly the streets of DC can’t handle the weight of tanks to the cost of the parade to the US taxpayers. They claim that it is a throwback to the days of the USSR, or currently to China or North Korea. To their core, it is believed that it is wrong for any nation to make a polite show of force.

And while I understand that there are those who sincerely believe that there shouldn’t be any military at all, and know this to be true because I used to be one of them, I would like to make a case for the parade. First of all, l am curious as to why the spending of 2.5 million dollars to express extravagant thanks to our military is such a problem, when we are surrounded by lawmakers who honestly think it’s reasonable to promise trillions to people who never give the freedoms we have as Americans much thought, much less honoring the people who ensure those freedoms are still in place.

My understanding is that the tanks are not going to be rumbling through DC, they are going to be placed carefully so as to not do the streets any harm. That’s a good thing, I reckon, but shouldn’t the streets of our Capitol be the strongest in the nation, seeing as those who would do us harm wouldn’t think twice about destroying the streets of the Capitol if they were attacking us? Is this portended parade a clarion call to upgrade some infrastructure? Just a thought…

What does a parade that includes fly-overs (my absolute favorites, even when I was a pacifist) that are executed with such precision, that legend has it the wings get so close that sometimes they trade paint with each other say to our friends, our enemies, and our frenemies alike? To me, it simply says, “Don’t tread on me,” something that is as old and as American as apple pie. People don’t like the idea that defiantly defending the nation is woven into the fabric of its foundation, but I believe in my heart the sight of how well protected we are, the smell of spectacular fireworks, the sound of music that celebrates a grand experiment that is not over by a long shot is a great way to say thank you to our Father, our Founders and our fighters.

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