The White House is hosting a Fourth of July bash in Washington, DC. It will be the second year in a row President Trump has authorized such a celebration, but the festivities will be substantially different than they were last year.
Visitors to the nation’s capital will not see tanks or any other type of military equipment on display, and the savings on expenses is said to be substantial.
The birthday party was approved by Defense Secretary Mark Esper after the Interior Department requested funds and permission for what is being called “Salute to America 2020.” Revelers can expect to see a wide variety of aerial, musical, and ceremonial events to celebrate 244 years since the rebel states issued the famed Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.
Not all the events will be taking place in Washington, DC. There will be an air force flyover past Mount Rushmore, and an “aerial salute” to several of the cities that were instrumental in the war for independence, including Boston, New York City, Philadelphia and Baltimore.
The Air Force Thunderbirds will participate for the first time when they flyover Washington. Last year the Blue Angels had the honor of the capital’s flyover.
Other aircraft participating with the Thunderbirds include F-35 and F-22 fighter jets; B-2 stealth bombers; V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor; CH-47 Chinook and AH-64 Apache helicopters. There will also be Coast Guard planes and a presidential plane, although it is not known yet which one.
Last year’s party cost taxpayers over $13 million, which was double what previous celebrations cost. The driving force behind the high price-tag was the military vehicles present and Trump’s participation at the Lincoln Memorial.
Lawmakers are against the celebration due to health concerns stemming from the coronavirus pandemic. The White House said it will take all needed precautions to ensure public safety, although no announcements have yet to be made on what those precautions will be.
“It will have a different look than 2019 to ensure the health and safety of those attending,” said White House spokesperson Judd Deere. “The American people have shown tremendous courage and spirit in the fight against this global pandemic just as our forefathers did in the fight to secure our independence, and both deserve celebration on America’s birthday this year.”