President Donald Trump is promising the “show of a lifetime” for the hundreds of thousands of attendees who gather on the National Mall every year for the Fourth of July. 

The president is calling the event a Salute to America, honoring the armed forces, and he’ll speak from the Lincoln Memorial in front of a ticket-only, VIP crowd of Republican donors, administration and campaign officials, family members, and other visitors.

President Trump said Wednesday on his fanpage, “We LOVE our GREAT Veterans! Happy Independence Day to our American heroes!”

Earlier, Trump tweeted on Tuesday: “Big 4th of July in D.C. “Salute to America.” The Pentagon & our great Military Leaders are thrilled to be doing this & showing to the American people, among other things, the strongest and most advanced Military anywhere in the World. Incredible Flyovers & biggest ever Fireworks!”

Navy Aviation Electronics Technician (AT3) Samuel McIntire (front R) and other members of the U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard rehearse by a Bradley Fighting Vehicle, in front of the Lincoln Memorial, on July 3, 2019, in Washington, ahead of planned Fourth of July festivities with President Donald Trump. (Jacquelyn Martin/AP Photo)
Members of the U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard practice their routine with M19 rifles by a Bradley Fighting Vehicle in front of the Lincoln Memorial, on July 3, 2019, in Washington, ahead of planned Fourth of July festivities with President Donald Trump. (Jacquelyn Martin/AP Photo)

Under White House direction, the Pentagon was arranging for an Air Force B-2 stealth bomber and other warplanes to conduct flyovers. There will be Navy F-35 and F-18 fighter jets, the Navy Blue Angels aerobatics team, Army and Coast Guard helicopters and Marine V-22 Ospreys.

The military hardware is moving into place for President Donald Trump’s July Fourth celebration on the National Mall.

A soldier hops out of a Bradley Fighting Vehicle after moving it into place by the Lincoln Memorial, on July 3, 2019, in Washington. (Jacquelyn Martin/AP Photo)

Two Bradley fighting vehicles were in place Wednesday at the Lincoln Memorial, where Trump will speak. In addition, two 60-ton Army Abrams battle tanks were sent to Washington by rail to be positioned on or near the National Mall, to the dismay of District of Columbia officials.

Soldiers with the 3rd Infantry Division, 1st Battalion, 64th Armored Regiment, move a Bradley Fighting Vehicle into place by the Lincoln Memorial, on July 3, 2019, in Washington, ahead of planned Fourth of July festivities with President Donald Trump. (Jacquelyn Martin/AP Photo)

Air Force One and Marine One aircraft are also slated to make aerial appearances.

Trump tweeted that cost “will be very little compared to what it is worth.”

“We own the planes, we have the pilots, the airport is right next door (Andrews), all we need is the fuel,” he said, referring to Maryland’s Joint Base Andrews, home to some of the planes that are to fly over the mall on Thursday. “We own the tanks and all. Fireworks are donated by two of the greats.”

A spotlight is tested on the statue of President Abraham Lincoln as Fourth of July festivities are set up at the Lincoln Memorial, Wednesday, July 3, 2019, in Washington. (Jacquelyn Martin/AP Photo)

The White House said the fireworks will be the “most spectacular,” tweeting “The fireworks over Washington, D.C., tomorrow night will be the most spectacular our Nation’s capital has ever seen, thanks to Phantom @Fireworks and Fireworks by Grucci.”

(Twitter/White House)

Rachel McKenna, a Trump supporter from McKinney, Texas, said her relatives served in the military and she thought it was important to say, “We love you guys, we appreciate everything you do, and I love the fact I can see that,” as she pointed to the Bradley fighting vehicle positioned near the Lincoln Memorial.

“I’ve never ever seen one,” she said. “I just think it’s so cool.”

How to watch the July fourth celebration 

PBS will broadcast the concert from the West Lawn of the Capitol featuring host John Stamos and including such performers as Carole King, Vanessa Williams, Colbie Caillat, Lee Brice and the O’Jays. Cameras set up around the nation’s capital will capture the fireworks display. Fox News Channel and C-SPAN have both announced plans to televise the president’s speech. ABC, PBS, CBS and NBC News have all said the event will be shown live on their streaming platforms.


  • The parade, which takes place from 11:45 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. EDT, will include marching bands, fife and drum corps, military groups, floats, giant balloons, equestrian teams, and other performers—a traditional July 4th parade.
  • From 6:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. EDT, President Trump will give his Salute to America, addressing the crowd from in front of the Lincoln Memorial. In his remarks, Trump is expected to pay tribute to the different branches of the U.S. military. Military performing groups will share live music and give military demonstrations. Gates open at 3:30 p.m.
  • From 8:00 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. EDT the National Park Service and the National Symphony Orchestra will sponsor an outdoor concert on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, featuring a variety of American music. Gates open at 3:00 p.m.
  • Fireworks over the National Mall, from behind the Lincoln Memorial, will begin shortly after 9:00 p.m. EDT and will be visible from surrounding areas.

Includes reporting from The Associated Press

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