The occasion, marking 100 years since America entered World War One, saw troops march down the Champs-Élysées, accompanied by dozens of military vehicles, flyovers of military aircraft, and traditional mounted cavalry.
Commentators say a US parade would be extremely expensive, given the cost of bringing military hardware and personnel to the capital and protecting its streets from tanks designed for war zones.
Does everyone like the idea?
Democratic politicians have criticised the expense and said such ideas carry worrying symbolism.
But they are regular in other countries - Venezuela, Iran and Brazil all enjoy putting on a spectacle.
In France, the annual Bastille Day parade, which was beefed up after the November 2015 terror attacks, harks back to France's militaristic past. An extravagant show in Saudi Arabia last year also reflected security concerns ahead of the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.
Like North Korea, Thai forces parade on armed forces day and countries such as Australia and Sri Lanka use military parades as part of national day celebrations.
The US, however, has largely reserved such ceremonies for the end of major conflicts.
The last such in Washington DC was on 9 June 1991, when President George Bush Snr celebrated the end of the Gulf War. It is thought to have cost taxpayers some $10m (£7.2m) and was followed by another parade the next day in New York,