Graham: Military parade should focus on people, not 'hardware'

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamPennsylvania Republican becomes latest COVID-19 breakthrough case in Congress McCain: Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner had 'no goddamn business' attending father's funeral Mayorkas tests positive for COVID-19 breakthrough case MORE (R-S.C.) on Wednesday threw his support behind a parade honoring the U.S. military, but said that such an event should not be treated as a "Soviet-style" display of military might.

"I don't mind having a parade honoring the service and sacrifice of our military members," Graham told CNN. "I'm not looking for a Soviet-style hardware display. That's not who we are, it's kind of cheesy and I think it shows weakness, quite frankly."

Graham's comments came on the heels of a Washington Post report that Pentagon officials are in the early stages of planning for a military parade in Washington at President TrumpDonald TrumpGrant Woods, longtime friend of McCain and former Arizona AG, dies at 67 Super PACs release ad campaign hitting Vance over past comments on Trump Glasgow summit raises stakes for Biden deal MORE's behest.


Exactly when that parade would be held and what it might entail remains to be seen. But Graham said that any such display should focus on U.S. service members and their families, rather than showcase military equipment.

"The idea of saying 'thank you' through a parade makes sense," he said. "The idea of showing muscle through a parade, I think, is counter to what we're about and would actually be a sign of weakness, not strength."

Trump has in the past floated the idea of a military parade to showcase the country's military might. He was reportedly dazzled by such a parade commemorating Bastille Day during a trip to France last year. 

But it was in a meeting at the Pentagon last month that Trump raised the possibility of a military parade in a more concrete way, the Post reported, prompting military officials to begin examining the idea.

The White House confirmed on Tuesday that the president had asked the Pentagon to "explore a celebration at which all Americans can show their appreciation" for U.S. service members.

According to the Post, Pentagon officials want such an event to take place on Veterans Day, in part because it would correspond with the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I and would not be so closely tied to the president himself.