A parade in Paris is a tough act to follow. There’s no place quite like the Champs-Élysées, especially on a sun-splashed morning commemorating Bastille Day.

But the White House answered a series of questions Wednesday concerning a proposed grand military parade in Washington – considered by Defense Department officials as a directive from President Trump.

"Nothing has been decided or locked in stone," Secretary of Defense Gen. James Mattis said during Wednesday’s White House press briefing. "This is in the early discussion phases and it's something the president was looking at."

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The president became captivated with the idea of a military parade after accepting French President Emmanuel Macron’s invitation to view the celebration last year.

Tanks line the circle surrounding the iconic Arc de Triomphe. The French president occupies the central role of the ceremony, inspecting the military vehicles from an open-air jeep.

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In a September news conference with the French president, Trump said he hoped to perhaps stage an even larger parade on the Fourth of July. The preliminary discussions became public Tuesday, with Pentagon officials working on a range of options for Trump to select.

The Bastille Day parade is steeped in tradition, a celebration that has persisted since 1880. Neither World War I nor World War II interrupted the annual event, intended to celebrate the French Revolution, as well as commemorate the country’s strength emerging from invasion and war.