Fourth of July celebrations
July 4, 2019 -- Americans will spend $6.8 billion, about $73 per person, on celebrating the U.S. Declaration of Independence. But President Trump’s plans for a military parade have sparked alarm that he is politicizing the holiday.
Trump plans to have U.S. military planes, including one of the aircraft used as Air Force One, fly over the Mall during Fourth of July celebrations in Washington DC. He will also give an address from the Lincoln Memorial, sparking alarm amongst lawmakers that he will turn the nation’s most cherished holiday into a partisan event. The flyover reflects Trump’s long-standing interest in replicating the Bastille Day celebration he observed in France in 2017 and his desire to throw an extravagant patriotic party.
Trump will not be onboard the aircraft for the flyover but plans to take a starring role in the festivities by delivering an address from the Lincoln Memorial.
The fireworks on the Mall have been a time-honoured non-partisan tradition for nearly half a century, and Trump’s new vision for Independence Day has caused a stir. Some lawmakers have expressed fear that Trump’s address could quickly turn partisan, according to the Washington Post.
Julian Zelizer, a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University, goes further: “The president politicizes everything he touches and uses national symbols and institutions for his purpose. Rather than being part of the celebration or even attending the celebration, he will make it about himself, and he will make it political.”