President Trump on Tuesday revived his dream of holding a patriotic display in the nation’s capital, saying he’s thinking about assembling a July 4th “Salute to America” that involves the Lincoln Memorial.
The president, who was notably enthralled by a 2017 viewing of France’s traditional Bastille Day military parade, raised the idea of an Independence Day celebration Tuesday during a Cabinet meeting at the White House.
“It could be a very exciting day,” he said.
Mr. Trump initially characterized it as a parade, though he later said it’s more accurate to call it a “Salute to America” gathering at a prominent site in D.C.
“Perhaps at the Lincoln Memorial. We’re looking at sites,” he said. “But we’re thinking about doing something, which would become, perhaps, a tradition.”
Mr. Trump said acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt is managing the search for a site and other planning.
This isn’t the first time Mr. Trump, a consummate showman, has tried to schedule a patriotic spectacle through the capital city.
Last year, he pushed to hold a grand military parade through Washington on Veterans Day, though the plan was scrapped after officials said it would cost $92 million — far above an initial estimate of $12 million.
The president blamed local leaders in D.C., saying they were gouging the federal government.
“The local politicians who run Washington, D.C. (poorly) know a windfall when they see it,” Mr. Trump tweeted in August. “When asked to give us a price for holding a great celebratory military parade, they wanted a number so ridiculously high that I canceled it. Never let someone hold you up!”
White House officials later said there were probably “other contributing factors” to the cancellation besides D.C.’s price tag, however.
The office of D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said the administration hasn’t contacted them about the new plan. The Cabinet meeting is the first they’d heard about Mr. Trump’s idea.
The nation’s capital already celebrates Independence Day in grand style.
PBS hosts a concert for military members and their families on the Capitol lawn, there’s a parade down Constitution Avenue and throngs of people turn out on the National Mall for an evening fireworks display.
Mr. Trump said he’d like to piggyback on those traditions.
“The fireworks is there anyway, so we just saved on fireworks,” he said. “We get free fireworks because it’s already being done.”
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