In an interview with The Washington Post this week, President-elect Donald Trump floated the idea of using military parades to make good on his promise of rebuilding America's greatness.

"Being a great president has to do with a lot of things, but one of them is being a great cheerleader for the country," Trump said. "And we're going to show the people as we build up our military, we're going to display our military.

"That military may come marching down Pennsylvania Avenue. That military may be flying over New York City and Washington, D.C., for parades. I mean, we're going to be showing our military," he added in the Post interview.

Military parades — complete with tanks and armored vehicles — down Constitution Avenue in Washington are not a common site, even for the Fourth of July Independence Day celebrations.

The last major parade in D.C. that showcased a major display of American power was right after the first Gulf War in the summer of 1991.

More than 200,000 spectators that day watched as 8,000 uniformed troops, armored vehicles, Patriot missile systems and stealth aircraft zoomed overhead.

However, not all spectators were impressed with the show of force that day.

"The elaborate celebration, which cost $12 million, drew scattered protests from critics, who said that it glorified militarism. And the turnout for the parade — estimated at 200,000 by U.S. Park Police — was far below predictions of 1 million or more spectators," read a Los Angeles Times article covering the spectacle.

Still, Americans certainly enjoy military displays, air shows and parades. Every year Americans turn out for airshows across the country in hopes of getting a glimpse of America's most famous flight demonstration squadron, the Navy's Blue Angels, who have performed in front of nearly 500 million spectators since 1946.

However, Trump understands showmanship and parades will not be the only standard of valuation for America's greatness, The Washington Post's Karen Tumulty contends. 

Shawn Snow is the senior reporter for Marine Corps Times and a Marine Corps veteran.

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