(NBC News) – President Trump’s vision of displaying U.S. military might is becoming reality as tanks take up positions near the Lincoln Memorial for Thursday’s “Salute to America” July 4th celebration.
Mr. Trump is promising the show of a lifetime.
Critics see a different visual.
“When I think of tanks and troops walking down the middle, I’m thinking Red Square, North Korea, Egypt, not the United States,” says Virginia Congressman Don Beyer.
The president has added figher jet flyovers, Air Force One and the Navy Blue Angels to the pageant as well.
Mr. Trump defended the show of force on Twitter, saying “We own the planes, we have the pilots, the airport is right next door (Andrews), all we need is the fuel.”
According to Pentagon estimates the F-35 costs about $30,000 an hour to fly. Flying Air Force One is more than $140,000 an hour.
The Washington Post reports the National Parks Service is diverting $2.5 million toward the celebration, money that was intended for parks across the country, and there are extra layers of security for the president’s address, paid for by taxpayers.
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