Spectators line the National Mall from the US Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial to view the Fourth of July Independence Day fireworks display in Washington, DC.

Spectators line the National Mall from the US Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial to view the Fourth of July Independence Day fireworks display in Washington, DC.

July 4th celebrations often come with pomp and circumstance.

But this year, President Trump is taking that to new heights.

From WAMU’s Elly Yu:

Trump’s “Salute to America” event on Thursday at the Lincoln Memorial will include flyovers, music and military demonstrations. According to The Washington Post, Trump has asked to station tanks or other armored military vehicles on the Mall for his speech to the country, but those details have not been finalized.

[…] The Secret Service say “Salute to America” will be secured by the agency and that tickets and additional security screening will be required for the event. The agency deferred to the White House about the issue of ticketing. A spokesperson for the White House said there will be a ticketed portion for VIPs, friends and family, and members of the military, but that “the entire event is open to the general public” and the general public area does not require tickets.

The president’s plans might be ostentatious. But even more, critics of “Salute to America” bemoan its political, partisan nature.

Historically, celebration on the National Mall has remained politically neutral. This year, the Republican National Committee has even offered tickets to major donors.

What do we make of this suped-up celebration? And is there a ‘correct’ way to celebrate patriotism?

Show produced by Stacia Brown. Text by Kathryn Fink.

Guests

  • Elly Yu General assignment reporter, WAMU
  • Kevin Kruse Professor of history, Princeton University; co-author of 'Fault Lines: The History of the United States Since 1974'; @KevinMKruse
  • Matthew Dennis Professor Emeritus of History and of Environmental Studies at the University of Oregon and author of Red, White, and Blue Letter Days: An American Calendar
  • Petula Dvorak Local columnist, Washington Post

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