July 4th Fireworks: Trump To Have Tanks, 'Best Fighter Jets' At Celebration

Saul Bowman
July 3, 2019

In addition to the flyovers by the Blue Angels, and according to media reports a plane that serves as Air Force One, the Washington Post reports that Trump requested tanks or other armored vehicles be part of the festivities.

Two M1A1 Abrams tanks and two Bradley Fighting Vehicles will be on display as part of Mr Trump's Salute to America event, according to a United States official.

Two M1A1 Abrams tanks and other military vehicles sit on guarded rail cars at a rail yard on July 2, 2019 in Washington, DC.

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton forcefully pushed back on plans by President Donald Trump to include U.S. Army tanks in the Fourth of July celebration on the National Mall, saying that "can't happen".

For decades, USA presidents have kept a low profile during Washington's annual celebration of the 1776 Declaration of Independence, which typically draws hundreds of thousands of people to Washington's monument-lined National Mall for a nonpartisan concert and fireworks.

"We have some incredible equipment, military equipment on display - brand new".

Opponents have criticized the USA president for placing himself at the center of the independence day holiday Thursday by planning a speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, DC.

Trump has hijacked this year's party in the capital and plans to station tanks on the streets and a flyover of warplanes overhead.

The tanks, which weigh about 60 tons apiece, were reportedly transported from Fort Stewart in the U.S. state of Georgia.

Critics of Mr Trump said his involvement in 4 July amounts to a partisan takeover of a national holiday. Extended fireworks displays and planned flyovers by Air Force One, the Navy Blue Angels, and perhaps other military aircraft will freeze air traffic to and from Reagan National Airport for two hours on Thursday.

A US defense official, speaking on the condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter, said that the Pentagon was not planning for tanks to be involved until late last week. He has dubbed it a "Salute to America".

"You've got to be pretty careful with the tanks because the roads have a tendency not to like to carry heavy tanks", Trump said Monday.

The event is open to the public and free of charge, but a ticket-only area in front of the memorial is being set aside for VIPs, including members of Trump's family, friends and members of the military, the White House said.

But now that the Commander-in-Chief is producing his own July 4th event, including a speech he will deliver to the nation, he's demanding the tanks once again.

The Secret Service said in a statement last week it was responsible for securing the area closest to the Lincoln Memorial during the July 4 event.

Officials told CNN that the White House has been actively involved in the planning of the celebration and had asked the Pentagon not to discuss details prior to the event.

"The American people deserve to know how much of their money the president is spending to turn their July 4th celebration into a de facto campaign rally", Udall said.

The tanks had been a question mark until Monday when Trump announced that the 60-ton plus tracked vehicles would be featured at the events, although how and where was not immediately disclosed.

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