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Trump Says Tanks Will Be Part of US Holiday Show

2019-7-2

U.S. President Donald Trump says military tanks will be part of a special Fourth of July show in Washington this week. The show is part of a yearly celebration of the country’s declaration of independence from Britain in 1776.

But the celebration does not usually include U.S. military vehicles. These and some of Trump’s other ideas for the special show are changes from the usual Independence Day traditions.

“We’re going to have a great Fourth of July in Washington, D.C.,” the president said. “It’ll be special and I hope a lot of people come. And it’s going to be about this country and it’s a salute to America.”

Last year, Trump and his wife Melania Trump spent the holiday at the White House with invited guests and their families. This year, he plans to give a speech at the Lincoln Memorial. The event is free and open to the public, and the area can hold a large crowd.

Military police walk near Abrams tanks on July 1, 2019, in Washington, DC. President Donald Trump says the Fourth of July celebration there will include military hardware. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Military police walk near Abrams tanks on July 1, 2019, in Washington, DC. President Donald Trump says the Fourth of July celebration there will include military hardware. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Trump has also expanded the yearly fireworks show and moved it closer to the Lincoln Memorial. In addition, military fighter jets will be flying overhead.

These changes have caused concern among some U.S. officials, who note they will cost additional money and effort. Others worry that Trump’s plans will make the show feel more like a political campaign event than a celebration of the country’s independence.

In the past, the Fourth of July show has not supported a political party or candidate. Because Trump is seeking re-election in 2020, some Americans worry he will give a political speech.

However, the top official for the event says Trump’s speech will be patriotic.

And some D.C. officials are concerned about the tanks. They say the heavy vehicles could damage the city’s streets.

Trump did not say earlier this week where the tanks would be. He said they would be “stationed outside.”

The president said two years ago he wanted a military parade of tanks and other equipment in the nation’s capital. He saw a similar parade on France’s Bastille Day during a visit to Paris in 2017. At the time, his proposal was not accepted, partly because of cost.

But the president seems to have held on to the idea.

I’m Kelly Jean Kelly.

Kelly Jean Kelly adapted this story based on a report by the Associated Press. George Grow was the editor.

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Words in This Story

salute - n. to show respect for (someone or something) : to publicly praise (someone or something)

guest - n. a person who is invited to a place or an event as a special honor

patriotic - adj. having or showing great love and support for your country