Trump's 'Salute to America' speech: President hails armed forces at July 4 event

Trump hailed an eclectic mix of history's heroes, from the armed forces, space, civil rights and other endeavors of American life. He largely adhered to his script, avoiding diversions into his agenda or re-election campaign.


                            Trump's 'Salute to America' speech: President hails armed forces at July 4 event

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Independence Day in Washington (all times local):

7:30 p.m.
President Donald Trump stuck with a patriotic message during his Fourth of July "Salute to America" speech, steering clear of the political rhetoric many had expected. Trump hailed an eclectic mix of history's heroes, from the armed forces, space, civil rights and other endeavors of American life. He largely adhered to his script, avoiding diversions into his agenda or re-election campaign.

Attendees were treated to flyovers by Coast Guard helicopters, Air Force F-22 fighters, Marine V-22 Osprey helicopters and other military aircraft. The event ended with a flyover by the Navy's Blue Angels aerobatics team. Trump was the first president in nearly seven decades to address a crowd at the National Mall on Independence Day.

The U.S. Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon performs during an Independence Day celebration in front of the Lincoln Memorial, Thursday, July 4, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

7:15 p.m.
President Donald Trump is paying tribute to each branch of the U.S. armed forces, hailing their history before flyovers by aircraft from each service. Trump is speaking at the Lincoln Memorial during a special Fourth of July "Salute to America" event.

Attendees have been treated to flyovers by Coast Guard helicopters, Air Force F-22 fighters, Marine V-22 Osprey helicopters and other military aircraft. The event is ending with a flyover by the Navy's Blue Angels aerobatics team. Supporters have praised Trump's celebration of U.S. military clout, while protesters have assailed him for putting himself center stage on a holiday devoted to unity.

A Bradley Fighting Vehicle is visible in front of a podium covered up in the rain before President Donald Trump speaks at an Independence Day celebration in front of the Lincoln Memorial, Thursday, July 4, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

6:45 p.m.
President Donald Trump says "our nation is stronger than it ever was before." Trump is speaking at the Lincoln Memorial during a special Fourth of July "Salute to America" event. He says that "for Americans, nothing is impossible." He is reciting a litany of American accomplishments over its history, including the moon landing 50 years ago. And he is promising, "Very soon, we will plant the American flag on Mars."

Trump is also paying tribute to U.S. service members. Supporters have praised Trump's celebration of U.S. military clout, while protesters have assailed him for putting himself center stage on a holiday devoted to unity.

The U.S. Marine Corps Drum and Bugle Corps performs in the rain during an Independence Day celebration in front of the Lincoln Memorial, Thursday, July 4, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

5:20 p.m.
President Donald Trump says the "future of American Freedom" lies with the men and women who are willing to defend it, as it did when America was founded. That's according to the speech Trump plans to deliver Thursday at the Lincoln Memorial during a special "Salute to America" event. The White House released excerpts from the speech about an hour before the president was set to speak.

Trump says "there will be nothing that America cannot do" as long as Americans remember the nation's history and "never stop fighting for a better future."
Trump has ordered the Pentagon to stage military demonstrations, including a flyover of jets, helicopters and other aircraft, for the event that critics are calling a waste of taxpayer dollars and a needless glorification of Trump.

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