How does Donald Trump transport his helicopter

Helicopters and fighter planes over Washington : Donald Trump's martial 4th of July

The staging works. Shortly before Donald Trump takes the stage to the sound of marching, hand in hand with his wife Melania, one of the two Boeing 747s flies low over the Lincoln Memorial, which become "Airforce One" when the US President is on board. It rained for hours beforehand, and anyone who came early to secure a spot is soaked from top to bottom. Elsewhere in central Washington, revelers had to be brought to safety because of dangerous lightning bolts.

But now it's almost dry, the July 4th show can start as planned. And Donald Trump is finally getting his long-awaited military show, which he has wanted to bring to his capital since the day he witnessed the French national holiday in the heart of Paris.

That was two years ago. It took a while as his plans met with strong opposition, including from the Washington City Council. And the show is also much more modest than its model from France. But Trump is happy.

There he is now behind a bulletproof glass wall, on which the raindrops run down. Framed by two tanks, Trump is doing on the one hand what many have criticized in advance: He is giving a speech on Independence Day, something that almost no US president has done before. They left it to the American people themselves to celebrate their nation's birthday with a picnic and fireworks, patriotically, but completely unpartisan politically.

But Trump wouldn't be Trump if he didn't want to do everything differently from his predecessors, and not for nothing is he called the "Disruptor in Chief". Critics accused him of politicizing the celebrations, also because the White House had a large VIP area set up in front of the Lincoln Memorial, to which only Trump supporters had access.

From the founding fathers to the US flag on Mars

But surprisingly, the President gave a speech that evening that one is not used to from him: a statesmanlike speech. He, who otherwise never misses an opportunity to rail against the opposition Democrats and the media, calls on his country to unity, says: "We are a people who have a dream and a great destiny. We all share the same heroes, the same home "The same heart, and we are all created by the same Almighty God."

His 50-minute speech turns into a history lesson in terms of American uniqueness. Not particularly original, but not too exciting either. He tells of the founding fathers, the pioneers and war heroes, as well as the campaigners for women's suffrage and the icons of the civil rights movement like Martin Luther King. And announces that "one day" the American flag will also be planted on Mars. "We will never forget that we are Americans and that the future is ours." Donald Trump, so the message behind it, is part of this great story.

Trump loves everything military

As part of the staging, aircraft and helicopters from the Marine Corps, the Army, the Navy and the Blue Angels fly one after the other over the tens of thousands of people who have gathered along the Reflecting Pool and in front of the Lincoln Memorial despite the weather. Trump always announces them with long explanations, the audience, called "great patriots" by the president, are enthusiastic, and calls "USA, USA" can be heard over and over again.

For someone who has been exempted from military service in Vietnam because of a heel spur, Trump shows a noticeably great love for the military and puts this at the center of his "Salute to America", as he calls his event. "With this very special tribute to America we come together as a nation today," he says. "We celebrate our history, our people and the heroes who proudly defend our flag - the brave men and women of the United States military." The US troops are "the best soldiers on earth", young Americans should join the armed forces immediately.

Demonstrations will take place at a safe distance

As much as he talks about unity and coming together, the country seems divided on this day as it has not for a long time. Trump supporters in particular, including some with red "Make America Great Again" hats and Trump T-shirts, follow his event. They completely fill the intended area. Trump will proudly retweet a picture later.

The others, who are critical of the President and his policies, protest at a safe distance on the Mall, the mile-long promenade between the Lincoln Memorial and the Capitol. A six-meter-tall Baby Trump balloon that you brought with you had to stay on the ground because of the bad weather conditions. And shortly after the Trump show ended at half past seven, the traditional July 4th family concert begins at the other end of the mall in front of the Capitol. MAGA hats can hardly be seen here.

An hour later, the city lights up at all ends, even if billows of smoke cloud the view a little. The fireworks are even more bombastic this year. Donald Trump made sure of that too.

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