Trump Says ‘Salute to America’ Celebration Will Be ‘Show of a Lifetime’—Here’s What to Expect on July 4th

President Donald Trump said this year’s “Salute to America” event that seeks to honor the U.S. military on July 4 will be the “show of a lifetime,” as anticipation mounts ahead of the annual Independence Day celebrations in Washington.

The hour-long event to take place at the National Mall starting 6:30 p.m. will include a presidential speech, military demonstrations, multiple aircraft flyovers, and music, paying tribute to America’s five service branches—the air force, army, coast guard, marine corps, and navy.

“Our July 4th Salute to America at the Lincoln Memorial is looking to be really big. It will be the show of a lifetime!” Trump wrote on Twitter early on July 3.

The White House says that the president’s speech, planned to be delivered at the Lincoln Memorial at the event, will focus on patriotism.

“I’m going to say a few words, and we’re going to have planes going overhead,” Trump told reporters on July 1 in the Oval Office. “And we’re going to have tanks stationed outside.”

President Donald Trump, joined by Vice President Mike Pence (L) and Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar (R), speaks during a signing ceremony in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on July 1, 2019. (Carolyn Kaster/AP Photo)

Participants in “Salute to America” include the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps, the U.S. Army Band (“Pershing’s Own”), the Armed Forces Chorus, the United States Marine Corps Silent Drill Team, and many others. Gates to the event open at 3 p.m.

U.S. Navy AT3 aviation electronics technician Samuel McIntire leads a Navy Ceremonial Guard practicing with rifles with bayonets as preparations continue for U.S. President Donald Trump’s Fourth of July speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on July 3, 2019. (Jim Bourg/Reuters)

“This is going to be a fantastic Fourth of July with increased access across the National Mall for the public to enjoy music, flyovers, a spectacular fireworks display, and an address by our Commander-in-Chief,” Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt said of the event in a statement on June 28.

Battle tanks are due to be displayed on Washington’s National Mall, including two M2 Bradley Armored Fighting Vehicles, and M1 Abrams tanks, Reuters reported.

An Army soldier hops out of a Bradley Fighting Vehicle after moving it into place by the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on July 3, 2019. (Jacquelyn Martin/AP Photo)
A Bradley Fighting Vehicle is moved into place at the Lincoln Memorial ahead of a July Fourth celebration highlighting U.S. military might in Washington on July 3, 2019. (Jim Bourg/Reuters)

The Defense Department has also arranged for flyovers by the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels jet squadron, a B-2 stealth bomber, F-35 and F-22 fighter jets, a V-22 tilt-rotor aircraft, the Marine One helicopters, and Air Force One jet used to transport the president. The Pentagon said that top military leaders will be attending, Reuters reported.

U.S. Navy Blue Angels. (U.S. Department of the Interior)

This year’s fireworks display, to take place around 9 p.m., is slated to be one of the longest July 4 fireworks events in D.C. at about 35 minutes.

Fireworks explode overhead at the U.S. Capitol and the Washington Monument on Independence Day in Washington on July 4, 2018. (Alex Wong/Getty Images/File).

Two fireworks firms, Ohio-based Phantom Fireworks, and New York-based Fireworks by Grucci are joining forces to showcase the fireworks for free, which the Department of the Interior (DOI) said was equivalent to a donation of at least $700,000. The fireworks are to be launched from West Potomac Park and behind the Lincoln Memorial.

Writing on Twitter, Bernhardt said that for the first time in many years, visitors can access the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, World War II Memorial, and Constitution Gardens to view the fireworks.

Schedule of Events

The DOI published the schedule of events for July 4th as below:

  • National Independence Day Parade – Constitution Avenue NW from 7th Street to 17th Street NW
    11:45 a.m. – 2 p.m.
    Marching bands, fife and drum corps, floats, military units, giant balloons, equestrian, drill teams and more celebrate Independence Day in this patriotic, flag-waving, red, white and blue celebration of America’s birthday! Visit the National Independence Day Parade website for more information.
  • Salute to America – Lincoln Memorial
    6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
    President Donald J. Trump honors America’s armed forces with music, military demonstrations, flyovers and much more. Participants include the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps, the U.S. Army Band (“Pershing’s Own”), the Armed Forces Chorus, the United States Marine Corps Silent Drill Team, and many others. Gates open at 3 p.m.
  • A Capitol Fourth Concert – West Lawn the U.S. Capitol
    8 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
    Co-sponsored by the National Park Service and the National Symphony Orchestra, join host John Stamos for an all-star salute to America’s 243rd birthday with performances by Grammy Award-winning music legend Carole King, multi-platinum recording artist Vanessa Williams, Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Colbie Caillat, the National Symphony Orchestra, a special appearance by the Sesame Street Muppets, and much more! Gates open at 3 p.m. Visit A Capitol Fourth for more information.
  • Fireworks Display
    9:07 p.m. – 9:42 p.m.
    Independence Day celebrations culminate with a spectacular fireworks display over the National Mall. The fireworks will be launched from West Potomac Park and behind the Lincoln Memorial. They will be visible from locations throughout D.C. and Northern Virginia.

The National Park Service website carries additional information about the day’s events, including security restrictions, public access points, road closures, and prohibited items. Complete information and updates on the Independence Day celebration can be found here.

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Author: Mimi Nguyen Ly