Trump still wants tanks displayed at July 4th celebration


The US president had wanted a military parade of tanks and other equipment in the District of Columbia after he witnessed a similar parade on Bastille Day in Paris in 2017.

In addition to the flyovers by the Blue Angels, and according to media reports a plane that serves as Air Force One, the Washington Post reports that Trump requested tanks or other armored vehicles be part of the festivities.

President Trump asked the Pentagon for military hardware, including tanks, to be displayed during Thursdays July 4th Salute to America celebration at the Lincoln Memorial. An Associated Press photographer saw two M1A1 Abrams tanks and two Bradley Fighting Vehicles at a railyard on the edge of Washington on Monday, transported up from Fort Stewart, Georgia, for the event, a USA official told AP.

"We're going to have a great Fourth of July in Washington, D.C. It'll be like no other", Trump said. The speech Thursday will kick off the "Salute to America", a revamped Independence Day observance designed by the president that will also include a military flyover and an extended fireworks display.

"We have said it before, and we'll say it again: Tanks, but no tanks", the City Council tweeted.

But we have the brand-new Sherman tanks and the brand-new Abram tanks and we have some incredible equipment--military equipment on display.

Washington Monument (C) and US Capitol (R) are seen on the National Mall from air October 17, 2012 above Washington, DC. After attending a Bastille Day parade in France past year, Trump tried to plan his own event meant to "top" that one. A military official earlier told the AP that the tanks were transported north from Fort Stewart in Georgia.

But Trump's presidential campaign did, a source close to the organization said.

The flyover will include a performance by the Blue Angels, an F-35 jet from the Navy, an aircraft from Marine Helicopter Squadron One and one of the planes used in the fleet for Air Force One, the specialized airliner that carries the president. The M1A1 Abrams is now the main United States battle tank.

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Trump is turning a day about the country into a day about himself, not that that should surprise anyone.

There's been a number of reports about Trump's interest and involvement in planning the D.C. celebration.

Federal lawmakers, local officials and others have voiced concerns that Trump could alter the tone of what traditionally is a nonpartisan celebration of America's independence from the British by delivering a political speech.

The Pentagon has referred virtually all questions about the celebration and the US military's involvement to the White House - a function, officials said, of the president's desire to have some elements of surprise in the event.

The event will be open to the public free of charge, apart from a ticketed area for VIPs in front of the Lincoln Memorial.

The Interior Department moved the location of where fireworks will be launched from the Reflecting Pool to two locations in West Potomac Park and behind the Lincoln Memorial, according to an Interior release.

The Pentagon postponed a military parade planned for last November after it estimated it could cost $90 million.

"It will be like no other, it will special", he told reporters in the White House.