Trump plans tanks and flyovers at Fourth of July celebration in Washington

U.S. President Donald Trump and U.S. first lady Melania Trump wave from the Truman Balcony during a fireworks display celebrating Independence Day at the White House in Washington, U.S., July 4, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY U.S. President Donald Trump and U.S. first lady Melania Trump wave from the Truman Balcony during a fireworks display celebrating Independence Day at the White House in Washington, U.S., July 4, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

By Andy Sullivan and Makini Brice

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump said on Monday that he plans to display battle tanks on Washington’s National Mall as part of a pumped-up Fourth of July celebration that will also feature flyovers by fighter jets and other displays of military prowess.

The military hardware is just one new element in a U.S. Independence Day pageant that will depart significantly from the nonpartisan, broadly patriotic programs that typically draw hundreds of thousands of people to the monuments in downtown Washington.

An M1 Abrams tank sits atop a flat car in a rail yard after U.S. President Donald Trump said tanks and other military hardware would be part of of a Fourth of July display in Washington, U.S., July 2, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Fogarty

An M1 Abrams tank sits atop a flat car in a rail yard after U.S. President Donald Trump said tanks and other military hardware would be part of of a Fourth of July display in Washington, U.S., July 2, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Fogarty

While past presidents have traditionally kept a low profile on July 4, Trump plans to deliver a speech at the Lincoln Memorial.

Also on the agenda are an extended fireworks display and flyovers by Air Force One, the custom Boeing 747 used by U.S. presidents, and the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels jet squadron.

“I’m going to say a few words, and we’re going to have planes going overhead,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office. “And we’re going to have tanks stationed outside.”

Democrats in Congress have accused Trump of hijacking the event to boost his re-election prospects in 2020. They have also questioned how much the event will cost the cash-strapped National Park Service.

Trump has pushed for a military parade in Washington since he marveled at the Bastille Day military parade in Paris in 2017. His administration postponed a parade that had been planned for Veterans Day in November 2018 after costs ballooned to $90 million, three times the initial estimate.

Trump said modern M1 Abrams tanks and World War Two-era Sherman tanks would both be on display. District of Columbia officials have said the heavy military equipment could damage city streets.

“You’ve got to be pretty careful with the tanks because the roads have a tendency not to like to carry heavy tanks, so we have to put them in certain areas,” Trump said.

The antiwar group Code Pink said it had secured permits to fly a “Baby Trump” blimp, depicting the president in diapers, during his speech. “Babies need enormous amounts of attention and are unable to gauge the consequences of their behavior – just like Donald Trump,” co-founder Medea Benjamin said in a news release.

The Interior Department, which oversees the event, has not said how much the event will cost. Two fireworks firms will put on a 35-minute display for free, which the agency said was equal to a donation of $700,000.

(Reporting by Andy Sullivan and Makini Brice; Additional reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Diane Craft and Peter Cooney)

Help-Us-800×125

4 thoughts on “Trump plans tanks and flyovers at Fourth of July celebration in Washington

  1. The Democrat’s and their propaganda arm MSM have attacked OUR President Trump 24/7, since before he was elected! These TDS attacks on Trump thus America must STOP! They are against OUR National Anthem, OUR flag and OUR AMERICAN 4th of July! Etc, etc, etc!

  2. I think its about time the media and other people start to get behind OUR President instead of ridiculing him. Although I must admit I do not care for some of what he says he has done more for this country then our last president did.

Leave a Reply