On Wednesday, President Donald Trump received a 21 gun salute from a battery of four cannons at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, with just hours before his presidential term is set to officially end.
The 21 gun salute fired shortly after Trump landed on an airstrip at the base aboard Marine One, the presidential helicopter. The cannons began to fire as Trump walked to a stage on the airstrip to deliver a farewell speech.
Trump’s farewell ceremony comes just hours before President-elect Joe Biden is set to be inaugurated on the national mall in Washington D.C., to take the oath of office and assume the role of the President of the United States of America.
Sky News tweeted, “The president is greeted by a 21 gun salute at Joint Base Andrews. The crowd begins to chant “we love you” as Donald Trump stands at the podium.”
Bloomberg reporter Jordan Fabian tweeted “21 gun salute as Trump takes stage.”
Another Twitter user posted another video of the cannons firing, tweeting, “Here’s Trump’s 21-gun salute as he gets ready to board The Plane to fly back home to Palm Beach! #Trump #FarewellToTrump. KR.”
A 21 gun salute is a U.S. military custom in which cannons are used to salute the national flag, the sovereign or chief of state of a foreign nation, a member of a reigning royal family, and the President, ex-President and President-elect of the United States, as well as funerals for U.S. presidents. The 21 gun salute is different from a three rifle volley used at military funerals, which features seven service members firing three shots to honor the passing of a U.S. service member.
As Trump concluded his farewell, he said “We will be back in some form.”
Following Trump’s farewell speech at Joint Base Andrews, he boarded Air Force One for a final time for his presidential term and took off for for Palm Beach, Florida, and will reportedly return to his Mar-a-Lago club.
Biden’s inauguration is set to begin at 12 p.m. ET today. A plane can only be designated as Air Force One when it carries a sitting president. The timing of Trump’s flight before Biden’s inauguration means he will land in Florida aboard Air Force One before his presidency officially ends.