President Donald Trump is planning to hold another “Salute to America” Independence Day event next year, he confirmed this week.
Trump called the event “a remarkable Salute to America on the National Mall. It was incredible, actually,” and added that he’s decided to repeat the event next year and possibly beyond.
“It was a wonderful day for all Americans. And based on its tremendous success, we’re just making the decision — and I can think we can say we’ve made the decision — to do it again next year, and, maybe we can say, for the foreseeable future,” Trump said during an environmental leadership speech on Monday.
Watch his remarks at the beginning of the video below:
“Standing on the steps of the great Lincoln Memorial and looking out at the crowds — these incredible, big, beautiful crowds, braving the weather — all the way back to the Washington Monument, we celebrated freedom in all of its magnificence while saluting our great military. It was something really special,” he added.
“Salute to America” took place at the Lincoln Memorial on the evening of July 4th. Incredible military flyovers marked the skies and President Trump gave a speech before the night’s anticipated fireworks display.
The event included flyovers by famed U.S. Navy Blue Angels, as well as the next-generation Marine One helicopter, Air Force One, Marine Corps V-22 Ospreys, Navy F/A-18 fighter jets, Army AH-64 Apache helicopters, VC-25 jets and the Air Force B-2 strategic bomber.
It also included performances by the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps, the U.S. Army Band (“Pershing’s Own”), the Armed Forces Chorus, the United States Marine Corps Silent Drill Team and more.
Trump’s critics issued criticism over the event, which they called too costly and militaristic. Three Democratic senators have now called on the U.S. Government Accountability Office to launch an investigation into the costs of the event, WTOP reported.
The event garnered a huge attendance, with crowds packed on both sides of the Lincoln Memorial’s Reflecting Pool and stretching all the way back to the Washington Monument.
Trump’s speech focused on unity and the American spirit. It was the first speech by an American president on the National Mall since Harry Truman’s Korean War speech in 1951, the New York Post reported.
“That same American spirit that emboldened our founders has kept us strong throughout our history. To this day, that spirit runs through the veins of every American patriot. It lives on and each and every one of you here today,” Trump said during the speech. “It is the spirit, daring and defiance excellence said adventure, courage and confidence, loyalty and love that built this country into the most exceptional nation in the history of the world.”