US President Donald Trump speaks during the “Salute to America” Fourth of July event at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, July 4, 2019.
Brendan Smialowski | AFP | Getty Images
President Donald Trump sung the praises of America’s military, heritage, and spirit at his Fourth of July bash in Washington, after concerns of severe weather threatened to drown out the event.
“Today, we come together as one nation with this very special salute to America. We celebrate our history, our people, and the heroes who proudly defend our flag — the brave men and women of the United States military,” Trump said.
“As long as we stay true to our cause; as long as we remember our great history; and as long as we never stop fighting for a better future; then there will be nothing that America cannot do.”
Trump’s speech at the “Salute to America” event at the Lincoln Memorial was delivered on time, albeit under low cloud cover following heavy rains earlier Thursday, to crowds that packed either side of the monument’s reflecting pool.
“Weather looking good, clearing rapidly and temperatures going down fast,” the president wrote shortly before traveling to the event.
Trump had promoted the event heavily through his Twitter account, promising “the show of a lifetime” that would include huge fireworks displays, flyovers, and M1 Abrams tanks and other armored vehicles.
Members of the U.S. Army finish parking an Bradley fighting vehicle in front of the Lincoln Memorial ahead of the Fourth of July “Salute to America” celebration on July 3, 2019 in Washington, DC. President Trump will deliver a speech at the memorial with military hardware on display including tanks, and flyovers by military aircraft.
Mark Wilson | Getty Images
Trump spoke at length highlighting the accomplishments of each branch of the military, and added that “very soon” the U.S. will have a sixth branch – the “Space Force.”
President Donald Trump stuck with a patriotic message during his Fourth of July “Salute to America” speech, steering clear of the political rhetoric many had expected.
Trump hailed an eclectic mix of history’s heroes, from the armed forces, space, civil rights and other endeavors of American life. He largely adhered to his script, avoiding diversions into his agenda or re-election campaign.
Attendees were treated to flyovers by Coast Guard helicopters, Air Force F-22 fighters, Marine V-22 Osprey helicopters and other military aircraft.
The event ended with a flyover by the Navy’s Blue Angels aerobatics team.
Trump was the first president in nearly seven decades to address a crowd at the National Mall on Independence Day.
—The Associated Press contributed to this report.