49% of veterans oppose a large military parade in Washington
Americans are not unhappy that the planned Veterans Day military parade in Washington DC has been, at best, postponed and, at worst, cancelled. It’s not a parade that the excited the public, even last February when the President first made the announcement that he wanted to see a US version of the French Bastille Day celebration.
In Economist/YouGov Polls taken when the Veterans Day parade was announced and just after it was canceled last week, more opposed than favored such a parade. Republicans were – and still are – supportive of the concept, but by a reduced margin today.
Military veterans were divided on the parade when it was first proposed; now they are narrowly opposed, even though one justification for having it was to honor veterans. Veterans generally describe the parade that way: 44% say it would honor veterans, while a third think it would be more likely to look like military displays in undemocratic countries like China, North Korea, and Russia. For most Americans, it’s not necessary that the US, as the most powerful nation in the world, demonstrate its military strength. Many aren’t sure that a parade would show off that strength.
Despite their support in principle for a military parade, few Republicans (like the rest of the public) express disappointment in the decision to postpone. One in four overall (and a third of Republicans) say they are disappointed in the decision, but less than one in ten (7% overall, 8% of Republicans) are very disappointed. A few more veterans (15%) say they are very disappointed, though most are not.
As for canceling the November parade because of its high cost, it is a decision two out of three approve.