Trump promises tanks, 'biggest ever fireworks' on July 4

Wednesday, 03 Jul, 2019

The Fourth of July celebration President Trump is apparently producing for the National Mall in Washington, D.C., will have a VIP section and yes, it will have tanks. He has dubbed it a "Salute to America".

"I think I've reached most Americans", Trump said Monday during an Oval Office appearance, adding that most Americans want no crime, a strong military, good education and good health care. The speech Thursday will kick off the "Salute to America", a revamped Independence Day observance designed by the president that will also include a military flyover and an extended fireworks display.

"And we're going to have some tanks stationed outside".

Several types of military aircraft are expected to take part in the event including the new Marine One Presidential VH-92 helicopter, which will be making its debut, a defense official confirmed to CNN.

President Donald Trump will include a flight demonstration by the US Navy Blue Angels.

Park service officials say that security will generally be similar to previous years, with the exception of the Lincoln Memorial, where Secret Service will handle matters.

That is almost triple the typical 300-person activation for July Fourth activities in Washington because a larger security footprint is needed, the official said.

White House officials on Tuesday said President Donald Trump will avoid politics and stick to patriotic themes in a high-profile July Fourth speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington amid questions about the cost and tone of the celebration.

Trump has pushed for a military parade in Washington since he marveled at the Bastille Day military parade in Paris in 2017.

Senior adviser Kellyanne Conway told reporters Tuesday the speech would cover "how wonderful this country is, our troops and military, our great democracy and great call to patriotism, the success of this administration in opening up so many jobs for individuals, what we've done for veterans". A Boeing VC-25, one of two planes designated Air Force One, will also participate in the fly-by.

The Pentagon postponed a military parade planned for last November after it estimated it could cost $90 million.

"These flyovers serve as valuable real-world time-over-target and other training requirements for our pilots and crews", according to the service. It also opens up an area around the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, the World War II Memorial and Constitution Gardens for spectators. The show will get underway at 9:07 p.m. ET and last until 9:42.

Udall noted that Interior Secretary David Bernhardt had yet to respond to a request he and two other Senate Democrats made two weeks ago for a full accounting of how the event would be conducted and what it would cost.

The 73-year-old earlier said a display of U.S. military tanks would be featured in the parade.

However, they will not parade down Pennsylvania Avenue due to the need to protect roads and bridges.

He said Monday that a display of USA military tanks will be part of a special event he's headlining July 4 in Washington, and an Associated Press photographer saw at least two M1A1 Abrams tanks and two Bradley Fighting Vehicles on flatcars in a railyard at the southeastern edge of Washington.