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- President Donald Trump wants to use armored vehicles, such as tanks or infantry fighting vehicles, as props for his Fourth of July extravaganza in Washington, DC.
- The Washington Post reports that heavy armor could be placed on the National Mall for the president’s "A Salute to America" event.
- The Independence Day celebration, expected to be one of the biggest DC has seen, will include a military parade, a flyover by Air Force One, the Blue Angels, and other military aircraft, fireworks, and a presidential address on the mall.
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President Donald Trump wants to put armored vehicles on the National Mall for his Fourth of July extravaganza, the Washington Post reported Monday, citing people briefed on the plans for the event.
The president has reportedly requested that armored warfighting vehicles be set up in the nation’s capital as props for his "A Salute to America" event. The vehicles being considered for the holiday blowout include M1 Abrams tanks and Bradley infantry fighting vehicles.
For Trump’s previously planned military parade in DC, the Department of Defense rejected plans calling for tanks rolling down the streets of Washington, DC, arguing that they could damage the roads. The Pentagon is considering setting up static displays to fulfill the president’s request. Deliberations on this matter have not concluded, even as the Fourth of July is only days away.
The holiday blowout is expected to include a military parade, a flyover by Air Force One, the Blue Angels, and other military aircraft, fireworks, and a presidential address on the mall.
Trump has longed for a patriotic military parade since he experienced France’s Bastille Day celebration in Paris in July 2017. "It was one of the greatest parades I’ve ever seen," the president said a few months after the event. "We’re going to have to try to top it."
"I think we’re going to have to start looking at that ourselves," he said. "So we’re actually thinking about Fourth of July, Pennsylvania Avenue, having a really great parade to show our military strength."
In February 2018, Trump ordered the Department of Defense to begin planning a big military parade for Veteran’s Day. Critics compared Trump’s plans to the military parades characteristic of authoritarian regimes, such as China or North Korea; the US has historically only held military parades after victories like World War II and the Gulf war.
The president later cancelled his planned parade as costs ballooned from $12 million to $30 million to as high as $92 million. Trump suggested that the event could be rescheduled for 2019 if costs could be kept low. "Maybe we will do something next year in D.C. when the cost comes WAY DOWN," he tweeted after announcing the cancelation.
The initial estimate of $12 million was based on a review of expenses for the Gulf war parade held in Washington, DC in 1991, the last major US military parade.
The cost of the president’s Fourth of July event has not been disclosed to date.
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