There Will Be Tanks in DC for Fourth of July 'Salute to America,' Trump Says

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People on a tank watch fireworks in Arromanches in Normandy region of France, Thursday, June 6, 2019. World leaders and veterans gathered Thursday in France to mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings. (Rafael Yaghobzadeh/AP)
People on a tank watch fireworks in Arromanches in Normandy region of France, Thursday, June 6, 2019. World leaders and veterans gathered Thursday in France to mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings. (Rafael Yaghobzadeh/AP)

President Donald Trump said Monday that tanks will be featured in his Fourth of July "Salute To America" celebration on the National Mall, but they won't be rolling down the streets of Washington, D.C.

In remarks to reporters in the Oval Office, Trump said that flyovers by the Navy's "Blue Angels" and a parade will be part of the military's contribution to the festivities.

"We're going to have some tanks outside" the main events on the Mall, he said.

He appeared to be suggesting that a small number of tanks would be on static display in the general area of the Mall, after they were brought there on tank carriers.

"You've got to be pretty careful with the tanks, because the roads have a tendency not to like to carry heavy tanks so we have to put them in certain areas. But we have the brand new Sherman tanks and we have the brand new Abrams tanks," Trump said.

It was not immediately clear what Trump meant by Sherman tanks, which have not been in the U.S. inventory since the 1950s.

The current plan for parade would have it start at about 11:45 a.m. along 10 blocks of Constitution Avenue next to the Mall.

Earlier, members of the city Council of the District of Columbia weighed in against the prospect of tanks rolling through the city's streets on the Fourth.

"We have said it before, and we'll say it again: Tanks, but no tanks," the Council said in a tweet Monday.

Trump predicted that his Fourth of July events, which will feature him speaking from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, will be bigger and more complex than any previous Independence Day celebrations in the nation's capital.

"It'll be like no other, it'll be special, and I hope a lot of people come," Trump said in the Oval Office. The weather forecast for Thursday in Washington, D.C. includes rain and the possibility of thunderstorms.

"We have some incredible equipment, military equipment on display -- brand new. And we're very proud of it," said Trump, who has wanted a military parade since being impressed by events he attended in Paris for Bastille Day in July 2014.

Trump began touting the possibility of major changes to the usual fireworks display and concert on the Mall back in February.

"We will be having one of the biggest gatherings in the history of Washington, D.C., on July 4," he said in a tweet in February.

"It will be called 'A Salute To America' and will be held at the Lincoln Memorial. Major fireworks display, entertainment and an address by your favorite President, me!"

-- Richard Sisk can be reached at Richard.Sisk@Military.com.

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