Published: Tue, July 02, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Here Are Trump's 4th Of July Tanks

Here Are Trump's 4th Of July Tanks

US President Donald Trump has said his speech will be brief and there will be flyovers and tanks at this year's Fourth of July celebrations.

But the District of Columbia's says "Tanks, but no tanks" and complains that Trump is politicizing what traditionally has been a nonpartisan celebration.

Trump reluctantly bagged plans for a big Veterans Day down Pennsylvania Avenue in 2018 after DC officials cited the costs and said they feared potential road damage from the massive military vehicles, which can weigh in at 60 tons or more.

Two M1A1 Abrams tanks and other military vehicles sit guarded on rail cars at a railyard in Washington, DC.

President Donald Trump's presence will be felt at this year's July Fourth celebrations in Washington, but some of the details on exactly what will happen and how he will participate remain murky. The view of the fireworks is incredible and there are no partisan politics on display, just families and friends gathering to celebrate together.

It's not clear what Trump meant by Sherman tanks, which have not been in the USA inventory since the 1950s.

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

"It'll be like no other", Trump said.

That plan eventually was scuttled, partly because of cost, though Trump apparently held on to the idea.

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Participants in Thursday's spectacular include the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps, the U.S. Army Band, the Armed Forces Chorus, the United States Marine Corps Silent Drill Team and others.

The event is being referred to as a "Salute to America", and will feature fireworks and a speech from Trump. Local officials objected at that time, too.

Trump had wanted a military parade of tanks and other equipment in Washington after he watched a military parade on Bastille Day in Paris in 2017. This year, Donald Trump is turning the day into what will essentially look like one of his campaign rallies, but with tanks.

"It is unacceptable that the Interior Department is failing to inform Congress about how it plans to spend taxpayer money to fund the president's lavish July 4th plans, which reportedly include special access to the National Mall for the politically connected", Democratic Senator Tom Udall said in a statement.

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

Tanks have arrived in Washington ahead of this week's Fourth of July celebrations.

The Pentagon has not released the estimated cost for the military display, but approximations reported by The Washington Post suggest the cost of the flyover by military aircraft could climb into the millions.

White House adviser Kellyanne Conway told reporters the president's Independence Day remarks would pay tribute to "how wonderful this country is".

The group, Code Pink, got approval from the National Park Service to have the balloon present between 4 a.m. and 9 p.m. ET on July 4 on a section of the National Mall near the Washington Monument.

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