An informal Military Times poll found that vast majority of the publication’s readers oppose the idea of a military parade in Washington, D.C.
The publication, an independent news source that covers the armed forces for service members and their families, published the results of its poll, which was launched on its website Wednesday. The poll asked readers “should there be a parade showing troops and military equipment in Washington, D.C.?”
Eighty-nine percent of Military Times readers responded by answering “No, it’s a waste of money and troops are too busy.”
Just 11 percent responded by answering “Yes, it’s a great opportunity to show off U.S. military might.”
The publication noted that more than 51,000 readers had voted in the poll as of Thursday afternoon.
The Washington Post reported Tuesday that Trump directed top Pentagon officials to explore holding a military parade after repeatedly expressing interesting in a display similar to Bastille Day celebrations in France.
The Department of Defense confirmed Trump’s request in a statement, saying it was “in the process of determining specifically details” about the proposed event.
The Pentagon is reportedly eyeing holding the parade on Veterans Day, which this year coincides with the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.
Officials told The Washington Post that the concept is still in its early stages, but that the parade could cost millions of dollars.
When asked by a reporter Wednesday why the Pentagon would “divert time, energy, financial resources” to fulfilling Trump’s request for a military parade, Defense Secretary James Mattis said Trump’s request was an example of Trump’s “respect” for the armed forces.
“I think what my responsibility is to make certain I lay out the strategy and make the argument for the oversight of Congress to make the determination of fully funding us. As far as the parade goes again, the president’s respect, his fondness for the military, I think is reflected in him asking for these options,” Mattis said.
Democrats on Thursday introduced legislation to bar federal funds from being used for a proposed parade.
Trump’s request for the parade has drawn criticism from both Democrats and Republicans, who have said that such grand displays of military hardware show weakness and are more common among authoritarian governments, like that of North Korea.
BY BRANDON CARTER – 02/08/18 08:23 PM EST