WASHINGTON (Rahnuma) U.S. President Donald Trump said Friday that he would attend a celebration in Paris this November marking the end of World War I, a day after the Pentagon announced it was postponing a military parade planned in Washington D.C. about the same time.
In a tweet Friday morning, Trump blamed “local politicians” of Washington D.C. on canceling the event this year, saying that “they wanted a number so ridiculously high.”
“I instead will attend the big parade already scheduled at Andrews Air Force Base on a different date, & go to the Paris parade, celebrating the end of the War, on November 11th,” the president said in another tweet.
“Maybe we will do something next year in D.C. when the cost comes WAY DOWN,” he added.
Trump showed great interests in holding a military parade in the United States after attending France’s Bastille Day military parade in Paris last year and directed Pentagon officials earlier this year to organize a big event in Washington D.C.
But after months of planning, the Pentagon said Thursday that the president-proposed event has been postponed until at least 2019.
“The Department of Defense and White House have been planning a parade to honor America’s military veterans and commemorate the centennial of World War I,” Pentagon spokesman Colonel Rob Manning said in a statement.
“We originally targeted November 10, 2018 for this event but have now agreed to explore opportunities in 2019,” the statement added.
The planned military parade is estimated to cost 92 million U.S. dollars, much higher than an initial estimate by the White House that put the cost at 12 million dollars, according to reports.
The new figure reportedly consists of 50 million dollars from the Pentagon and 42 million dollars from interagency partners such as the Department of Homeland Security, but it has not been finalized or released publicly.
The D.C. City Council balked at Trump’s announcement of a parade this year and openly worried about road repair and other costs.
“We would always be concerned about the impact on the city, the impact on safety, the impact on pulling personnel, the impact on our roadways, and quite frankly, the attention it would attract,” D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said in February.
“Better late. Then: never,” tweeted the Council of D.C. Thursday night.
The United States has not held a major military parade in Washington D.C. since the end of Operation Desert Storm was marked in 1991.