In order to allow more people to attend the immense Independence Day fireworks display in Washington, D.C. this year, they are being moved from the National Mall to nearby West Potomac Park. According to the Washington Post, President Trump is personally involved in planning the 2019 Fourth of July festivities in the capital and plans to address the nation from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
Democrats are critical of the plan of course. An official connected to D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser complained to the Post that the city would have to alter logistics for the celebration once the White House’s plans were finalized. “We have a lot of people come to the Fourth of July. Logistically, over the years, the kinks have been worked out,” the official said. “We don’t want to throw off what already works.”
Democrat Rep. Betty McCollum, chairwoman of the House Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies, which oversees the Interior Department which Trump has reportedly tasked with carrying out the celebration, also had some griping to do.
“It’s not about any one president,” McCollum told the Post. “It’s about how our nation came to be, because of a hardy band of brave men and women. 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.”
The new event is to be called “A Salute to America.” In addition to a possible address by Trump, the location may include a second stage of entertainment apart from the performers performing at the Capitol.
The National Park Service has annually presented “Fireworks on the Mall” for several decades. Hundreds of thousands attend, marking one of the highlights of the city’s tourist season. The event has been broadcast live on TV since 1947, and since 1981 has featured a free concert on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol featuring well-known musicians and a performance by the National Symphony Orchestra.
“A Salute to America” is the responsibility of new Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, who has given regular briefings to the President on the event. “I think the president is excited about the idea, and we’re working hard on it, and I think it could be very, very meaningful,” Bernhardt said. “The president loves the idea, as probably all Americans do, of celebrating America on the Fourth of July, or thereabouts.”
Bernhardt said that by moving the fireworks site is “going to be a significant expansion of space that’s available to watch the fireworks from the Mall.
“And we might even have some more surprises in store for the public, very very soon,” he added.
In February, Trump announced on Twitter that Americans should “HOLD THE DATE!” on July 4 for a “Major fireworks display, entertainment and an address by your favorite President, me!”
HOLD THE DATE! We will be having one of the biggest gatherings in the history of Washington, D.C., on July 4th. 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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 24, 2019
“A Salute to America” … July 4, 2019 in Washington, D.C. … will include an address by our President from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial pic.twitter.com/PFK9wAdWmn
— V Rantala ? Conservative (@VicRantala) May 11, 2019
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