Military demonstrations and flyovers are set to accompany President Trump’s Fourth of July celebration, months after the president’s planned military parade in Washington was postponed.
The military will be in the spotlight for at least two of the events on July 4th.
The Fourth of July parade in Washington will include a fife and drum corps, military units and drill teams as well as floats and “giant balloons,” according to Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, who released details of the celebration on Wednesday.
A separate “Salute to America” celebration, planned for later in the day, will honor each of the branches of the military and include military demonstrations and flyovers, performances from the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps, the U.S. Army Band and the Armed Forces Chorus, among others.
Additionally, the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, the World War II Memorial and Constitution Gardens will be open to the public to view fireworks.
“There is no more appropriate place to celebrate the anniversary of American independence than among the Nation’s monuments on the National Mall and the memorials to the service men and women who have defended the United States for the past 243 years,” Bernhardt said in the statement Wednesday.
“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,” he said. “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.”
The U.S. Army Military District of Washington referred questions to the Pentagon.
Trump is slated to speak at the Lincoln Memorial, a plan that attracted scrutiny from House Democrats earlier this month. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., Rep. Raúl Grijalva, D-Ariz., and Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn., cautioned his remarks could be interpreted as a “partisan campaign rally on the Mall at public expense."
“Rather than spending millions of taxpayer dollars on what could appear to be a campaign rally, those funds would be far better spent addressing the Department’s maintenance backlog,” the lawmakers wrote in a letter to the White House.
The president has long pushed for holding a military parade in the nation’s capital, after he attended the 2017 Bastille Day celebration in France as a guest of French President Emmanuel Macron. The event featured French troops marching and military tanks rolling along the parade route.
A proposed military parade in Washington was scheduled for Nov. 10, 2018, but Trump ultimately postponed the event after defense officials told media outlets the event would likely cost more than $90 million.
The D.C. Council did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Military Times regarding the estimated cost of the July 4th parade.