Trump sticks to patriotic themes at July 4 event

M1 Abrams tanks and other armored vehicles sit atop flat cars in a rail yard after U.S. President Donald Trump said tanks and other military hardware would be part of Fourth of July displays of military prowess in Washington U.S

Trump sticks to patriotic themes at July 4 event

The same could not be said for the crowd, decked in the red, white and blue of the U.S. flag and the occasional MAGA cap harking back to Mr Trump's Make America Great Again campaign slogan in 2016.

Washington is hot on Thursday as thousands are gathering in the downtown for the country's annual birthday celebration which, along with traditional fireworks, will also feature battle tanks, armoured vehicles, a flyover of war planes and possibly Air Force One, as well as President Donald Trump's "Salute to America" speech this year.

But Mr Trump said the slip-up was due to a technical failure.

The event featured a flyover from the Blue Angels, as well as performances from the Army Band and the Marine Corps Silent Drill Team.

"The firefighters, first responders, police, sheriffs, ICE, border patrol - and all of the fearless men and women of law enforcement".

The speech was followed by a concert on the US Capitol lawn at the opposite end of the National Mall.

Trump has a conflicted relationship with teleprompters.

While praising George Washington and John Adams, the president also emphatically recognized Betsy Ross, who was the creator of the early American flag during the American Revolution.

Those without tickets had to stay outside at least two layers of fencing and watch on giant screens.

President Donald Trump is explaining himself after his controversial July Fourth speech, in which he said the Continental Army took "over airports" while fighting the British in the Revolutionary War - despite it being more than a century before airplanes were invented.

But some visitors readily approved the idea.

But instead, he has gotten a scaled-back version, with some USA armored vehicles parked for display near the monument and a flyover.

But instead, he got a scaled-back version, with some United States armored vehicles parked for display and a flyover by the president's own Air Force One jet, the B2 bomber, attack helicopters, and the Navy's Blue Angels flying team.

"We celebrate our history, our people, and the heroes who proudly defend our flag: the courageous men and women of the United States Military", Trump said.

Flights will be suspended at nearby Reagan National Airport from 6:15 7:45 p.m. ET and then again later in the evening for the festivities.

Critic Medea Benjamin said: "This is costing us millions and millions of dollars".

Trump is pushing back against complaints about the cost of the extravaganza, saying the expenses "will be very little compared to what it is worth". Fireworks are donated by two of the greats.

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