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- President Donald Trump’s July 4 celebration will include an Air Force One flyover, The Washington Post reported.
- The White House scrapped a Veterans’ Day celebration last year because of high costs.
- Trump expressed his desire for a military parade in the US after seeing France’s Bastille Day celebrations in 2017.
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President Donald Trump plans to add a military component to July 4 celebrations with an Air Force One flyover and “military demonstrations” on the National Mall, amid concerns from lawmakers about the event’s potentially exorbitant costs and strain on local and national resources, the Washington Post reported Tuesday.
After a failed attempt at a military-heavy Veterans’ Day celebration last year, the administration plans to hold a similar patriotic event, which it is calling the “Salute to America” at the capital. Trump was enthralled by a Bastille Day parade he attended in France in 2017, and has expressed his desire to stage a similar event in the US. The Washington Post reported earlier in June that Trump plans to speak at the Lincoln Memorial, a National Parks site. But the plans for a military flyover on the National Mall were previously unknown.
A US official with knowledge of the flyover confirmed to INSIDER that Air Force One was scheduled to fly that day. The Washington Post reported that other military aircraft would join Air Force One, but the official did not immediately confirm the presence of other aircraft to INSIDER.
The Washington Post reported that the president would not be aboard Air Force One as it made the flyover.
It is unprecedented for presidents to attend the nation’s July 4 celebration, The Washington Post reported earlier in June, due to security concerns at such a massive event.
The Veteran’s Day event planned for last year was postponed due to the high estimated cost – $92 million – of the event. The Department of Defense directed INSIDER’s request for comment on the July 4 event to the White House. The White House stated that it did not have any details to share about the event.
Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, a Democrat from Washington, DC, and Sen. Chris Van Hollen, a Democrat from Maryland, wrote to the Senate and House appropriations committees on Tuesday, noting that the District of Columbia’s Emergency Planning and Security Fund (ESPF) will run out of funding in July, and that the current budget does not have spending details for the administration’s planned celebration factored in.
“It is important to note that the spend rate does not factor in the substantial unanticipated costs for President Trump’s July 4th speech and activities at the Lincoln Memorial. Since the July 4th program has not yet been set, those costs are still unknown,” the letter reads.
The legislators will be requesting additional funding in the 2020 fiscal year to make up for that event, if provisional funding is not supplied.