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Donald Trump to speak at Lincoln Memorial during July 4 celebration

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June 19 (UPI) — President Donald Trump will speak at the Salute to America Independence Day celebration in Washington, D.C., on July 4, which will include tributes to all branches of the military and, aircraft flyovers, government officials said Wednesday.

Independence Day will begin with a parade on Constitution Avenue, followed by the official Salute to America, Trump‘s speech at the Lincoln Memorial and the Capital Fourth Concert on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol.

The traditional fireworks display has been moved to West Potomac Park, a half-mile south of the Lincoln Memorial. They will last for 20 minutes and be visible throughout Washington D.C. and northern Virginia.

“There is no more appropriate place to celebrate the anniversary of American independence than among the nation’s monuments on the National Mall and the memorials to the service men and women who have defended the United States for the past 243 years,” U.S. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt said in a statement.

This year’s event includes a few other changes.

“For the first time in many years, the World War II Memorial and areas around the reflecting pool will be open for the public,” Bernhardt said. “We are excited to open these new areas so that more visitors may experience this year’s Independence Day celebration in our nation’s capitol.”

Visitors are also allowed at the Singers of the Declaration of Independence Memorial for the fireworks show. In previous years, the area was closed off because it was too close to the pyrotechnics.

Some Democrats have criticized Trump for politicizing what’s typically a non-partisan holiday, and say security for his speech will drain resources from the National Park Service.

Trump tried to plan an elaborate parade for Veterans Day last year, but ultimately balked at its $92 million price tag. White House officials said they would explore more opportunities for 2019.





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