President Trump has apparently taken charge of this year’s Fourth of July celebration in Washington, D.C., and will possibly give a personal address, angering some Democrats who fear the president will politicize the holiday.
City officials in the nation’s capital were notified of Trump’s plan to address the nation on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and move the traditional fireworks display from the Capitol Reflecting Pool to the nearby West Potomac Park, the Washington Post reported.
But the plans, which the administration says will allow more people to attend, have raised logistical concerns among officials as they make preparations for the holiday, which is fast approaching.
“We have a lot of people come to the Fourth of July. Logistically, over the years, the kinks have been worked out,” Mayor Muriel Bowser told the Post. “We don’t want to throw off what already works.”
“We have a lot of people come to the Fourth of July. Logistically, over the years, the kinks have been worked out. We don’t want to throw off what already works.”
The move to amend the July 4 celebrations in Washington comes after Trump floated the possibility of holding a military parade, an idea he got when he attended Bastille Day celebrations in France.
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But the military parade idea was dropped after senior White House and Pentagon leaders estimated it would cost $92 million.
“When asked to give us a price for holding a great celebratory military parade, they wanted a number so ridiculously high that I cancelled it. Never let someone hold you up!” Trump tweeted.
The local politicians who run Washington, D.C. (poorly) know a windfall when they see it. When asked to give us a price for holding a great celebratory military parade, they wanted a number so ridiculously high that I cancelled it. Never let someone hold you up! I will instead…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 17, 2018
Trump’s plans are being criticized not only for imposing a burden on the city logistically, but also for political reasons.
Rep. Betty McCollum, a Minnesota Democrat who chairs the House Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies, told the newspaper that Trump’s address would undermine the spirit of the celebration.
“It’s not about any one president. It’s about how our nation came to be, because of a hardy band of brave men and women,” she said.
“It’s not about any one person, it’s about ‘We, the people.’ And if the president moves to make this about him, I think he will find the America public disappointed and angered by it.”