Trump Plans 4th of July ‘Salute to America’ at National Mall

He said the event would be held at the Lincoln Memorial on the west end of the National Mall…

(AFP)
US President Donald Trump has announced plans for a July 4 “Salute to America” at the Lincoln Memorial.

(AFP) After giving up his idea for a huge military parade in Washington, President Donald Trump on Sunday announced a July 4 “Salute to America” that he predicted would be “one of the biggest gatherings” in the city’s history.

“HOLD THE DATE” Trump said in one of a series of tweets early Sunday.

He said the event would be held at the Lincoln Memorial on the west end of the National Mall and would feature a “major fireworks display, entertainment and an address by your favorite President, me!”

After witnessing the grandeur of the Bastille Day parade in Paris in 2017 in the company of President Emmanuel Macron, Trump had pressed for an equally impressive Veterans Day parade in Washington, with marching troops, convoys of armored vehicles and roaring overflights by squadrons of elite fighter jets.

But his military advisers reportedly pushed back, particularly after an estimate surfaced that the event could cost taxpayers as much as $92 million.

In retreating from his plan last August, Trump wrote on Twitter: “Maybe we will do something next year in D.C. when the cost comes WAY DOWN. Now we can buy some more jet fighters!”

The Lincoln Memorial site was, in fact, the scene of one of the largest gatherings in the history of the US capital — the celebrated “I Have a Dream” speech by civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. on August 28, 1963, during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

It drew an estimated 250,000 people, filling the Mall to overflowing from the Lincoln Memorial to the Washington Monument.