As announced back in February, President Donald Trump will be holding a special “Salute to America” Parade through the streets of Washington, D.C. on July 4. While the Nation’s Capital always puts on quite a show to celebrate Independence Day, this is the first time that Trump is personally planning his own event.
Taking place at the Lincoln Memorial, this Fourth of July celebration will not feature any fireworks, but will include a speech by 45, fighter jets flying overhead, including the new Marine One Presidential VH-92 helicopter, which will be making its debut, and the hotly disputed series of tanks and armory vehicles. The last time tanks were included in a parade in Washington was back on June 8, 1991, when the country commemorated its victory over Iraq, an event which cost $12 million.
Military officials told CNN that the tanks will not roll along Pennsylvania Avenue during the parade, and the President has acknowledged doing so would ruin the streets of D.C. And while the D.C. City Council has voiced their opposition to using military vehicle in such a manner, the tanks rolled into Washington on Tuesday night by train.
Typically, such vehicles are only used in inaugural parades or military victory parades, but for the first time in 28 years, a Bradley Fighting Vehicle was seen getting put into place by the Lincoln Memorial, lead by an Army driver with the 3rd Infantry Division, 1st Battalion, 64th Armored Regiment. Other military vehicles which were moved on the Mall via flatbed trucks include two M1A2 Abrams tanks, which weigh 70 tons each.
Trump’s “Salute to America” is set to kick off at 6:30 p.m. ET/PT, during which all airspace in and around Washington D.C. will remain closed. In addition to Trump’s personally invited VIP military guests, there will be an estimated 750-800 military personnel taking part in the event, and an additional 900 National Guard members working to control the city’s traffic, secure the safety on the parade streets and Metro Subway system.