Cue Babs Streisand and all the other great Dollys going back to Carol Channing.
Or perhaps a song from another Streisand musical would be more appropriate.
President Donald J. Trumpet has been forced to cancel a parade for himself, er, veterans due to costs that have been estimated to run as high as $92 million. It was Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser who finally put the kibosh on the plan, injecting a dose of reality in the reality star’s ego fest and making black women two for two in as many days in bedeviling Donnie Two Scoops. (Cue Omarosa.)
Word is that the White House and GOP are breathing a sigh of relief over the nixed plan, while many veterans’ groups were mobilizing to oppose the parade. They all knew it would’ve cost an obscene amount of money that could’ve been better spent on veterans themselves or education or infrastructure.
They also knew that parades with tanks and jets are not who Americans are. Our parades are casual, community-minded affairs in which the people – not the floats, balloons and falloons (float balloons) – are the real stars of the show. (It reminds me of the story of the tourists who once asked a New York City cop on Easter Sunday where the Easter Parade was. “You’re it,” he said.)
We’re all it. I can remember stopping to watch the Veterans Day Parade on Fifth Avenue one year. As the soldiers made their way up the avenue – sparse, motley groups whose ranks are increasingly diminished by time in size but not in moral strength -- we onlookers stood at attention applauding briefly before rejoining the daily rat race.
Let Trump go off to the big Armistice Day Parade in Paris on Nov. 11, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. (And merci bien, Monsieur Le President Emmanuel Macron, for taking one for the team in hosting him.) The French deserve this commemoration. It was their fields that ran with Allied blood and were sprayed with German mustard gas during the Great War that was supposed to end all wars and didn’t. Trump should know this. He is said to “enjoy military history.” But no one “enjoys” military history. People die. Lives and families are shattered. Property and animals are destroyed. The land that in the end will cover us all is ravaged. Rather, we savor history, the story of the past, which is always with us. But I doubt Trump would know history. He once told me via a written Q & A that he named his most expensive suite at the Trump Taij Mahal the Alexander the Great suite, because “he was the best and it is the best.” I doubt, however, he knew what war – what conquering the Persian Empire – cost Alexander and thousands of people.
Let Trump go to his big, shiny foreign parade, and let him try to buy “a couple of jets” with 92 mill.
We know that all that is necessary for a parade – apart from some permits and a little organization – is a grateful heart.