America's businessman president plans to rebrand the Fourth of July by injecting himself into the celebration, showcasing the U.S. military, and relocating and extending the iconic fireworks show.
President Donald Trump is scheduled to address the nation from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on Independence Day Thursday evening. A special VIP section will be established in the area and tickets to these premier spots will be given out by the White House.
The president has also directed the Pentagon to provide military vehicles, including tanks, for display at the celebrations. The order has sparked worries that the weight of the vehicles could damage the infrastructure on the National Mall and in the surrounding area.
The Fourth of July commemorates America’s 1776 declaration of independence from Britain and the establishment of the United States as an independent nation. Presidents in modern times have chosen to mark America's birthday by participating in events apart from the main celebration on the National Mall.
And while Independence Day marks an important political event in the nation’s history, celebrations traditionally refrain from focusing on any particular political party or politician.
A new poll suggests most Americans are fine with the president giving a public speech on July 4. Eighty-one percent of Republicans, 55% of independents, and 27% of Democrats approve of Trump’s plans to speak on the National Mall.
However, with the 2020 presidential campaign in full swing, some historians fear the president is injecting partisan politics into this year’s festivities.
“And that doesn't mean that change is always bad, but it does mean it becomes a less democratic event,” he says, “less democratic and more partisan. [The Fourth of July] is not about a particular party. It's not about a particular person. In some ways, it's a celebration of politics. It's a celebration of democracy.”
Having a U.S. president take an active part in Independence Day celebrations changes the nature of the event, according to Jim Grossman, executive director of the American Historical Association.
Trump’s plans for the Fourth of July include extra fireworks — first, from an area behind the Lincoln Memorial, followed by a second fireworks show launched from a park about two miles from the National Mall.
The traditional National Independence Day Parade and the “A Capitol Fourth” concert on the West Lawn of the Capitol building will go on as usual.
Source : VOA