(AP) — A reality TV host at heart, President Donald Trump is promising the “show of a lifetime” for the hundreds of thousands of revelers who flock to the National Mall every year on the Fourth of July. The tanks are in place for the display of military muscle and protesters are ready to make their voices heard.
It’s been nearly seven decades since a president spoke there on Independence Day. The U.S. was at war in Korea when Harry Truman addressed a large gathering on the Washington Monument grounds, marking the 175th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
There’s no such historical marker Thursday for Trump, who for the past two years has sought a moment to orchestrate a display of America’s military prowess.
He’s calling his event a “Salute to America,” honoring the armed forces, and he’ll speak at the Lincoln Memorial in front of a ticket-only, VIP crowd of Republican donors, administration and campaign officials, family members and those who flock to see him or protest what they see as a divisive intrusion on a traditionally unifying national holiday.