President Donald Trump will hold his “Salute to America” event in D.C. on July 4, albeit in what appears to be a scaled-back manner.
Following weeks of uncertainty as to whether the president would move forward with a large-scale event in the District amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the White House said Friday that Trump, first lady Melania Trump and the Department of the Interior will host the Independence Day event on the South Lawn of the White House and the Ellipse. Last year, the event was held at the Lincoln Memorial and included displays of armored military vehicles.
This year’s event will include “music, military demonstrations, and flyovers” meant to honor U.S. troops and veterans, and Trump will deliver remarks to celebrate the country’s “amazing heritage.” The event will conclude with fireworks over the National Mall.
“The President is again displaying his fondness for dictators and the trappings of autocracy,” Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va., said in a statement. “The president of the United States should be capable of celebrating Independence Day responsibly. Instead he is using the military to stage yet another costly political photo op.”