At the request of President Donald Trump, a lavish and expensive parade is set for Thursday morning in a special July 4th event in Washington and he is expecting some special treatment during this “Salute to America”, including having the chiefs of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines standing around him for all to see.
There will reportedly be a grand display of US military tanks during the event as well as a military demonstration by the US Navy Blue Angels, among other aircraft and Trump has specifically asked for the military chiefs for the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines to stand next to him during the airshow.
Of course the event is already raising concerns as many draw the comparison from Trump’s obsession with parading the US military forces through the streets to the similar behavior of authoritarian regimes like North Korea, Iran and China.
Since Trump watched the Bastille Day parade in Paris in 2017, he has been salivating over showing off in a particular fashion, wanting to parade tanks and other military equipment around town but has faced backlash due to the absurd cost of such a display, rightly so considering the skyrocketing costs. Trump said on Monday, “We’re going to have some tanks stationed outside.”
There has also been great concern over the damage that could potentially be done to the city’s streets by the extremely heavy tanks and he acknowledged that, saying, “You’ve got to be pretty careful with the tanks because the roads have a tendency not to like to carry heavy tanks… So we have to put them in certain areas, but we have the brand new Sherman tanks and we have the brand new Abrams tanks.”
Trump carried on, in true Trump-speak style:
“We’re going to have a great Fourth of July in Washington, DC. It’ll be like no other… It’ll be special and I hope a lot of people come. And it’s going to be about this country and it’s a salute to America… I’m going to say a few words and we’re going to have planes going overhead, the best fighter jets in the world and other planes too.”-Donald Trump
The Council of DC has voiced its concerns and opposing the event, even taking to Twitter on Monday for a clever play on words saying, “We have said it before, and we’ll say it again: Tanks, but no tanks.”
Trump is expected to make a speech at the Lincoln Memorial monument and the yearly fireworks display has been moved to go off closer to that location rather than its usual spot near the Washington Monument.
The “Salute to America” is free and open to the public although it will feature an exclusive VIP area directly in front of the memorial for members of Trump’s family and for special guests, which is likely to include major donors from the Republican party since the RNC has been offering tickets specifically to their heavy hitters.
The concern from many is that this typically non-partisan and patriotic holiday is now going to strike a different chord coming from President Trump, who just recently announced his intent to seek re-election.