WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- President Donald Trump’s July Fourth celebrations will include a small number of M1 Abrams tanks and other armored vehicles.
- The tanks will not join the parade down Pennsylvania Avenue to protect roads and bridges but would be on display in Washington.
- Trump will deliver a speech on Thursday from the Lincoln Memorial as part of a daylong celebration that includes a military-themed parade near the National Mall and flyovers featuring planes used for Air Force One, according to U.S. defense officials.
President Donald Trump’s request for a display of tanks on the Fourth of July has been approved by the Pentagon. The request is in conjunction with his “Salute to America” celebration on the National Mall, Trump said during remarks in the Oval Office.
The president confirmed that the tanks will be on display near the National Mall for the July 4 celebration.
“We’re gonna have some tanks stationed outside. You know we’re making a lot of new tanks right now,” he said.
It is not yet determined how many tanks, what type or where they would come from but they would be stationary, in a “static display,” said an aide who was not authorized to speak publicly about the plans. The Army has tanks at Ft. Stewart, Georgia.
The aide added that the Pentagon approved the tank display. The Army, however, declined to comment, referring inquiries to the Defense Secretary’s office and the White House. White House aides, the Defense Department and the Army declined to comment, USA Today reported.
The cost of the transport and display of the tanks is about $870,000, the aide also said.
In a statement, the National Park Service said officials at the National Mall are “working with the White House to execute the president’s vision for Salute to America, a celebration of America’s armed forces that will feature music, military demonstrations, flyovers and remarks from the president.”
In November, Trump requested to stage a military parade in Washington but it was called off after the White House had estimated that it would cost as much as $30 million, Then-Defense Secretary Jim Mattis warned that tanks should not be allowed on Washington streets to protect the pavement.
The president is scheduled to deliver a speech from the Lincoln Memorial on Thursday. There will be a military-themed parade near the National Mall and flyovers featuring planes used for Air Force One, officials said.
Source: USA Today