Trump Says Tanks Will Be Part of July 4th Celebration in Washington

By Reuters
July 1, 2019 Updated: July 1, 2019

WASHINGTON—President Donald Trump said he plans to display battle tanks on Washington’s National Mall as part of a pumped-up Fourth of July celebration that will also feature flyovers by fighter jets and other displays of military prowess.

Trump said modern M1 Abrams tanks and World War Two-era Sherman tanks would both be on display.

“You’ve got to be pretty careful with the tanks because the roads have a tendency not to like to carry heavy tanks, so we have to put them in certain areas,” Trump said.

national mall US capitol
The Lincoln Memorial (L), Washington Monument (C) and US Capitol (R) are seen on the National Mall from air Oct. 17, 2012 above Washington, DC. (AFP/Saul Loeb/Getty Images)


This year, the president is organizing an event called “Salute to America” that will honor the U.S. military.

Trump plans to deliver a speech at the Lincoln Memorial. Also on the agenda are an extended fireworks display and flyovers by Air Force One, the custom Boeing 747 used by U.S. presidents, and the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels jet squadron.

“I’m going to say a few words, and we’re going to have planes going overhead,” Trump told reporters on July 1 in the Oval Office. “And we’re going to have tanks stationed outside.”

Trump has pushed for a military parade in Washington since he marveled at the Bastille Day military parade in Paris in 2017. His administration had wanted a parade that had been planned for Veterans Day in November 2018, but it was eventually postponed after costs ballooned to $90 million, three times the initial estimate.

The Interior Department, which oversees the event, has not said how much the event will cost. Two fireworks firms will put on a 35-minute display for free, which the agency said was equal to a donation of $700,000.

By Andy Sullivan and Makini Brice. Additional reporting by Jeff Mason.