In revolution, Trump will host July 4 event, with tanks and warplanes

Posted July 03, 2019

The Fourth of July celebration President Trump is apparently producing for the National Mall in Washington, D.C., will have a VIP section and yes, it will have tanks.

Photographers have snapped images of two M1A1 Abrams tanks on a freight train in a railyard near Washington.

President Trump's big 4th of July spectacle will come complete with several M1 Abrams tanks and other armored vehicles, despite opposition to the military equipment sideshow from the local Washington, D.C. City Council. The speech Thursday will kick off the "Salute to America", a revamped Independence Day observance designed by the president that will also include a military flyover and an extended fireworks display.

However, special accommodations are being made to allow the flyover to take place.

On the other hand, a sizeable number of US military aircraft will fly over the capital during the 4th of July celebrations, including some of the "best fighter jets", which is how Trump described them.

"We don't have all of those logistics nailed down at this point", US Park Police Chief Robert MacLean told DC outlet NBC News4 earlier on Monday.

The flyover will include a performance by the Blue Angels, an F-35 jet from the Navy, an aircraft from Marine Helicopter Squadron One and one of the planes used in the fleet for Air Force One, the specialized airliner that carries the president.

The event is open to the public and free of charge, but a ticket-only area in front of the memorial is being set aside for VIPs, including members of Mr Trump's family, friends and members of the military, the White House said.

But rather than participate in the parade, officials are exploring whether the vehicles could be left in a prominent but stationary position as props for the president's event, which will replace the traditional Independence Day celebration in the nation's capital.

"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 but we have the brand new Sherman tanks and we have the brand new Abrams tanks", Trump added.

"We are referring everyone to the White House who will be making announcements about the event timeline and participants", said Jonathan Rath Hoffman, the Pentagon's top politically-appointed spokesman. A plant in Lima, Ohio, is refurbishing Abrams tanks.

While the United States continues to operate the M1 Abrams tank the U.S. military has not used World War II-era M4 Sherman tanks since the 1950s.

Trump confirmed the plan in remarks to reporters in the Oval Office Monday. The White House declined to release more specific information.

"We have said it before, and we'll say it again: Tanks, but no tanks".

The Republican National Committee is distributing a "small number" of tickets to the event, which it says is standard practice and follows what the Democratic National Committee did under Democratic presidents.

On Tuesday the Park Service announced that it was granting a permit to Tighe Barry and Code Pink to fly a Baby Trump balloon on Thursday near the Lincoln Memorial. "It'll be like no other", Trump said.

The 73-year-old earlier said a display of U.S. military tanks would be featured in the parade.