Donald Trump’s Fourth of July ‘Salute to America’ gets downgraded to the White House backyard – though will still feature ‘military demonstrations’ and flyovers
- The White House said Friday that this year’s Fourth of July ‘Salute to America’ would take place at the White House and at the Ellipse
- It’s a downgrade from last year’s spectacular that took over the steps in front of the Lincoln Memorial
- President Trump has insisted on still having a big Fourth of July celebration despite COVID-19 woes
- The White House said that this year’s event would still have flyovers and ‘military demonstrations,’ like last year’s ‘Salute to America’
- The administration hasn’t said if tanks will be used again as decoration, which prompted criticism for likeness to authoritarian regimes
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
The White House indicated Friday afternoon that President Trump’s Fourth of July ‘Salute to America’ had been downgraded from the grand spectacular that took place last year in front of the Lincoln Memorial.
This year, according to the press secretary’s office, the event would be held on the White House’s South Lawn – along with at the Ellipse, located just outside the executive mansion’s gates – though would still feature flyovers and ‘military demonstrations.’
Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser already scaled back the city’s plans for the holiday due to the coronavirus pandemic, announcing in May that there wouldn’t be a parade. Trump, in late April, however, had said his big event was still on.
President Trump’s Fourth of July ‘Salute to America’ has been moved back to the White House – and the nearby Ellipse – this year, the White House announced Friday
In 2019, President Trump hosted a ‘Salute to America’ at the Lincoln Memorial, which featured flyovers, tanks and a presidential speech
This year, President Trump expressed that he wanted to do something similar, but D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser was already scaling back Fourth of July festivities due to COVID-19 concerns
The White House announced Friday that the ‘Salute to America’ would move back to the White House and also take place at the Ellipse. It would also still feature flyovers
The president will deliver remarks this year from the South Lawn and first lady Melania Trump will attend, the note from the press secretary’s office said
President Trump attracted criticism for using tanks, such as this Bradley Fighting Vehicle, for decoration, with critics comparing him to authoritarian leaders
‘On July 4, we’ll be doing what we had at the Mall, as you know. We’re going to be doing it. Last year was a tremendous success, and I would imagine we’ll do it – hopefully I can use the term “forever.”‘
But this year’s event now looks more in line what White House’s have done in the past.
In recent history, presidents would invite crowds to an event on the South Lawn where they get a direct view of D.C.’s annual fireworks display.
But in 2019, Trump became the first president in 68 years to address a crown on the National Mall to mark Independence Day.
Trump expressed he wanted something bigger and so he called in the military bands and allowed planes and helicopters – which are usually barred from flying over downtown D.C. – to do a flyover.
The plane used as Air Force One and the choppers used for Marine One were joined by the Blue Angels, Air Force stealth bombers and other military craft.
The president also brought in Abrams tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles to put on display.
He was criticized for making Washington’s Fourth of July festivies – which generally feature a concert on PBS and fireworks – overtly political and militaristic, the latter move being compared to authoritarian leaders.
The White House didn’t mention whether tanks would be present at this year’s event.
There have been National Guard vehicles stationed around D.C. for the past few weeks, in response to the ‘Black Lives Matter’ protests.
The note from the press secretary did say that first lady Melania Trump would be present and the president would speak.
In 2017 and 2018, Trump and the first lady addressed guests on the South Lawn.
White House spokesman Judd Deere hinted that the event could be scaled-back this year when he spoke to NBC News in late May.
‘As President Trump has said, there will be an Independence Day celebration this year and it will have a different look than 2019 to ensure the health and safety of those attending,’ Deere said.
The president also plans to travel to Mount Rushmore in South Dakota to mark the holiday.
That trip is slated to take place on July 3.