While fighter jets roared overhead, the jumbo jet used as an Air Force One made a rare overpass over the cauldron National Mall, Trump said as critics accused him of exploiting the nation's birthday party for his own political ends in an event he had called "A Salute to America." Trump's speech lacked the party-political rhetoric of his rallies, but the event underpinned the president's testimony that he is a strong commander-in-chief and a key leader.
The President underscored his speech with carefully choreographed overflights of some of the military's most sophisticated aircraft, including a B-2 bomber and a pair of F-35 jets. The choirs sang the anthems of each army branch before the planes flew overhead and the windows in Washington clattered.
His remarks did not turn into an assembly in the style of a hyper-partisan campaign that some of his critics feared would normally pollute the atmosphere of commemoration of the nation's Independence Day.
But the involvement of the President in the military in an event that strengthened his profile at the beginning of his re-election race raised concerns among former and present military officers.
"As long as we stay true to our course, as long as we remember our great history and never stop fighting for a better future, there will be nothing America can not do," Trump said in the run up to the celebration Trump's call for military equipment, such as the tanks he'd seen at the Champs-Elysées in Paris when he attended Bastille Day on the occasion of France's national holiday in 201
At the end of the evening, when fireworks exploded in spectacular fashion in Washington, it was not clear whether Trump had accomplished what he had predicted on Twitter, "one of the greatest celebrations in the history of our country."
But the President had tempered the political anger that threatened to make the Fourth of July celebration a metaphor for the country Oversubscription and division of much of his presidency.
Many Americans probably appreciated the president's worship of the armed forces and the emphasis on some of the country's most sophisticated weapons
The president delivered his speech behind a translucent bullet-proof barrier with rainstorms. Former commanders-in-chief, especially in the post-9/11 era, have made an effort not to involve partisans in Independence Day events.
Former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama hosted more discreet events on the South Lawn of the White House. Leaders of the Pentagon had reservations about exhibiting tanks or other armored vehicles, a source with direct knowledge of the situation said.