President Donald Trump hosted a Fourth of July event Thursday called Salute to America. Despite some reports you might have seen on Twitter saying that almost no one attended, the attendance was actually quite significant. The photos you may have seen circulating were misleading, as thousands attended the Salute to America event, according to photos shared by people who were there and a live stream of the event. An estimated attendance isn’t available yet, but we will add it to the story if one is shared. Just how many people attended his event? Learn more and see crowd photos below.
As you can see from the photo below, the attendance was massive during Salute to America. Of course, one question is if any of those in the crowd photo on the National Mall were there for other Fourth of July events happening or fireworks later. That’s tough to determine, but we do know these people were at the National Mall before Trump’s event started.
There was a sizeable crowd waiting before the event started.
The event lasted for one hour, but part of the event was delayed due to bad weather. You can see another crowd photo below.
This event didn’t overlap with any other major events in D.C. The National Independence Day Parade ended just an hour before gates open for Salute to America. The Capitol Fourth concert started 30 minutes after the event ended.
The Department of Interior describes the event as a “celebration of America’s military with music, military demonstrations, and flyovers,” WAMU reported. Here are some more photos of the event:
The crowd was large and some reports said it extended from the Lincoln Memorial to the Washington Monument, but of course some of these were likely there for other Fourth events too. Here are some more photos of the crowd.
In a statement, Secretary of Interior David Bernhardt said: “For the first time in many years, the World War II Memorial and areas around the Reflecting Pool will be open for the public to enjoy a stunning fireworks display and an address by our Commander-in-Chief. We are excited to open these new areas so that more visitors may experience this year’s Independence Day celebration in our nation’s capital.”
Salute to America is designed to honor the armed forces. Trump also delivered a speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
This video was passed around to show no one attended, but the video is not showing the crowd behind the camera. It’s showing the area where designated people would be sitting, not the general crowd. The area near the Capitol was also briefly evacuated due to severe weather.
Here’s a look before the group was cleared for weather:
Here is another photo of the significant-sized crowd on the National Mall. This was shown live during a live stream of the event.
According to The Guardian, this was the first time a President gave a speech on Independence Day in nearly seven decades. Trump spoke for nearly an hour to an enthusiastic crowd. Military flyovers were also featured during the event, and people gathered to hear Trump despite the rainy conditions.
During his speech, Trump told the history of Independence Day and said the country is stronger than it’s ever been before, thanks to the American spirit. He spoke of the country’s many accomplishments and said: “As long as we stay true to our purpose… As long as we never stop fighting for a better future, there will be nothing that America cannot do.”
This is a developing story.