President Donald Trump declared on July 4 that the America he's working for "wants unity" and that “no matter our race, color, religion, or creed, we are one America, and we put America first.”
The president was speaking from the White House South Lawn following a performance from a military band, flyovers by B-52 bombers and F-35 fighter jets, and parachute jumps.
“These are great and brilliant people. And brave people,” he said.
On July 4, Trump revisited similar themes in his "Salute to America" speech.
“Our movement is based on lifting all citizens to reach their fullest God-given potential,” he said.
“Never forget, we are one family and one nation. This rich heritage belongs to every citizen, young and old, first generation American. We want to go from first generation to 10th generation. It matters not. We are American. We are from the USA. This great heritage belongs to citizens of every background and of every walk of life.”
Trump again referenced the counter-culture narrative from people he says “foment hate, discord, and distrust” and want to demolish America.
“In every age, there have always been those who seek to lie about the past in order to gain power in the present,” he said, after referring to the radical left, Marxists, anarchists, agitators, looters, and people who "have absolutely no clue what they are doing" earlier in his speech.
“Those that are lying about our history, those who want us to be ashamed of who we are are not interested in justice or in healing. Their goal is demolition."
Trump said that under his administration, “Our goal is not to destroy the greatest structure on earth, what we have built, the United States of America.” He added that his administration wants to work together with the people to defend America and “build a future where every family is safe, where every child is surrounded by love, where every community has equal opportunity, and every citizen enjoys great and everlasting dignity.”
Addressing the riots and wave of statue destruction sweeping the nation, the president said, “Our past is not a burden to be cast away."
He went on to say: "Let me also say a word to those in the media who falsely and consistently label their opponents as racists, who condemn patriotic citizens who offer a clear and truthful defense of American unity.
“We want a clear and faithful defense of American history, and we want unity. When you level these false charges, you not only slander me, you not only slander the American people, but you slander generations of heroes who gave their lives for America. You slander people much braver and more principled than you.
"You're slandering the young men who raised the flag at Iwo Jima and those who perished fighting for freedom in the Civil War. You slander them. You are dishonoring their great legacy and their memory by insisting that they fought for racism and they fought for oppression.
“They didn't fight for those things. They fought for the exact opposite. We will not let the legacy of these heroes be tarnished by you. The more you lie, the more you slander, the more you try to demean and divide, the more we will work hard to tell the truth, and we will win.
“We want to bring the country together, and a free and open media will make this task a very easy one. Our country will be united after all.
“Two hundred and forty-four years ago in Philadelphia, the 56 signers of our Declaration of Independence pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to boldly proclaim this eternal truth that we are all made equal by God.
“Thanks to the courage of those patriots on July 4, 1776, the American Republic stands today as the greatest, most exceptional, and most virtuous nation in the history of the world. Our workers, our factories have revolutionized industries and lifted millions into prosperity. Our artists, architects, and engineers have inspired the globe with transcendent works of beauty.
“American heroes defeated the Nazis, dethroned the fascists, toppled the communists, saved American values, upheld American principles, and chased down the terrorists to the very ends of the earth.
“The Patriots who built our country were not villains, they were heroes whose courageous deeds improved the earth beyond measure. The beauty and the glory of our constitutional system is that it gives us the tools to fight injustice, to heal division, and to continue the work of our founding fathers by expanding and growing the blessings of America.
"If you believe in justice, if you believe in freedom, if you believe in peace, then you must cherish the principles of our founding and the text of our constitution. It's our founding and our constitution. It is a firm foundation upon which all progress is achieved. That's why our country is so strong, even despite terrible things that happen over the generations."
A massive fireworks display was held at night, lighting up the National Mall in honor of the nation's birthday.