The last time the US president so openly intervened in the celebration of July 4 more than 30 years ago.
Donald Trump promised to hold a celebration on July 4 (the day the United States adopted the declaration of independence from Great Britain) in Washington with the participation of military equipment. The President assured that it would be a “special” day, planned to say a “patriotic” speech and asked the commanders of the military departments to be present next to him.
The public sharply met the promise of the president, since it was not customary to demonstrate military equipment on Independence Day. For the District of Columbia, where Washington is located, it is even more unusual – local residents are used to celebrating July 4th without party representatives or leaders of the country.
Tanks, fighters and Trump’s speech – what awaits Washington residents on Independence Day
By July 2, in the southern suburbs of Washington, they noticed military equipment intended to participate in the celebration of Independence Day. Journalists captured at least two Abrams tanks and two Bradley army tracked platforms. Near the technique of walking soldiers who were guarding it from bystanders.
Trump had the idea to hold a military parade in the USA since the summer of 2017. Then he visited the Paris celebration of the Bastille Day, during which military vehicles solemnly drove around the city . “Perhaps we need to arrange something like this in Washington on Independence Day, ” the president said .
In March 2018, it became known about Trump’s plans to organize a military parade on Veteran Day – November 11th. The president planned to mark the significant date with a parade of tanks and other military equipment, but this idea was abandonedbecause of the high cost – $ 92 million.
July 1, 2019 newspaper The Washington Post said that Trump plans to hold a parade with military equipment on Independence Day. However, a little later, the White House clarified that they had abandoned this idea due to the high cost and fears that tanks would damage city streets. “You have to be very careful with them, because often the roads do not like armored tanks,” said Trump.
Nevertheless, the head of the country did not completely abandon his idea. Military equipment, including the Abrams, Bradley and decommissioned Sherman tanks, will be brought to the designated exhibition space. Where exactly – not yet said. Most likely, it will establish close to the Lincoln Memorial, where the program “will be held Salute America » (Salute To America).
For the first time in many years in US history, the celebration of July 4th is being organized with the participation of the American president. In addition to him, many different events will take place in Washington and the rest of the country, but Trump is likely to attend just that.
In addition to tanks and tracked platforms, from the military equipment at the event will show combat fighters “Blue Angels” (aerobatic flying group of the US Navy) and the Air Force. Hour operation of the aircraft of the first type is estimated at 10 thousand dollars, and the second hour – at 140 thousand dollars. The celebration will also include military music performed by the Army Orchestra, the choir of the armed forces and the Marine Corps Training Department.
The event will end with a salute, but not at the Washington Monument, as usual, but at the Lincoln Monument. The White House and the Ministry of Defense did not comment on the cost of the event. According to The Washington Post, the cost isseveral tens of millions of dollars.
The last time the authorities interfered in the celebration of July 4 in 1983 – then the Beach Boys group was banned from performing at a concert in Washington
In her column, The New York Times editorial board member Michel Cottle accusedTrump of trying to draw some of her attention on a national holiday. As the reporter writes, for decades the presidents and party leaders did not directly participate in the festivities and did not perform on the concert stage, just like Trump wants.
The last time something similar happened under President Harry Truman – in 1951, he spoke at the Washington Monument, noting the US military successes in the Korean War. In 1970, the head of the country, Richard Nixon, wrote down an appeal to the people, which was broadcast from the National Mall of Washington.
The last loud intervention was on the reign of Ronald Reagan. When he was in 1983, at a concert in honor of July 4, rock bands were banned from performing, especially with regard to the super popular The Beach Boys. Officially, this was due to the desire of the authorities to protect people from the topic of alcohol and drugs. Other US leaders were largely off-screen on the day of the celebration.
In a conversation with The Guardian, Julian Zelizer, a professor of history and public relations at Princeton University, complained that Trump would try to extract political benefits from the national holiday. In the city council of the District of Columbia, the presidential decision was met with criticism. On official Twitter, local authorities stressed that they do not want the appearance of tanks and other military equipment at the celebration.
According to The New York Times, a number of unnamed military representatives also expressed concern about the use of armed forces to celebrate and previously opposed the holding of a military parade on Veterans Day.
At the Pentagon, such events, popular in authoritarian countries like China and the DPRK, are also treated coldly, the NYT writes. Representatives of the ministry believe that the United States does not need to demonstrate its strength in this way, since the country spends more on defense than China, Saudi Arabia, India, France, Russia, Great Britain and Germany combined.
However, Trump sees in military technology one of the merits of the United States. At the festival, he will deliver a speech, the details of which have not yet been disclosed. Next to the president, the event will be attended by the leaders of the army, navy, air force and marines.
Critics of the head of the country believe that he will appeal to those gathered with agitation against the background of his plans to run for a second presidential term. The White House claims that it is only of a “patriotic character”. The president himself also does not share what he plans to say on Independence Day, but he calledfor as many people as possible to attend the celebration.
We have brand new military equipment. We are very proud of it. We are building a lot of new tanks in Lima, Ohio, in our wonderful tank factory, which people wanted to close before my election, I stopped it, so now it’s a very productive facility.
We will have a wonderful July 4th in Washington. It will be like nothing else. It will be something special, and I hope that a lot of people will come. [This event] is dedicated to this country, it is a salute to America. I will say a few words, and the best fighters in the world and other airplanes will fly over us.
President of the U.S.A