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Dublin: 14 °C Monday 16 September, 2019

Donald Trump wanted tanks at his 4 July celebration, so he's got tanks at his 4 July celebration

Washington DC’s local government is against the move, fearing the damage they could cause to city streets.

APTOPIX Trump Fourth of July A tank arriving at a Washington railway. Source: Patrick Semansky/PA Images

AT LEAST TWO US Army tanks have arrived in Washington ahead of a Fourth of July celebration that President Donald Trump says will include military hardware.

The two M1A1 Abrams tanks are with four other military vehicles on a freight train in a railyard at the southeastern edge of Washington.

The vehicles are being guarded by military police but are visible to passers-by on nearby paths. A military official earlier said the tanks were transported north from Fort Stewart in Georgia.

Trump told reporters yesterday that the tanks will be stationed outside the Fourth of July celebration but has not given details on how they will be used.

Trump Fourth of July More military vehicles arriving in the city. Source: Patrick Semansky/PA Images

Trump had wanted a parade of military tanks and other equipment in Washington after witnessing a similar parade in Paris in 2017. But that plan eventually was scuttled, partly because of cost.

This year, the president is organising an event called “Salute to America” that the administration says will honour the US military.

Trump will deliver a speech at the Lincoln Memorial on Thursday and has been tweeting about plans for “incredible flyovers”.

Tweet by @Donald J. Trump Source: Donald J. Trump/Twitter

But not everyone is on board.

The military appreciates national recognition, but some members worry that they will be seen as political props. This concern has been heightened during Trump’s administration by his repeated focus on showcasing the military as the main symbol of US power and influence in the world.

The District of Columbia government previously had complained about damage that tanks would do to city streets and reissued its complaint on yesterday after The Washington Post reported on Trump’s plan to station military tanks in the city.

Donald Trump US President Donald Trump. Source: Carolyn Kaster/PA Images

“We have said it before, and we’ll say it again: Tanks, but no tanks,” the City Council tweeted.

Thursday’s events are also expected to include military flyovers by the US Navy’s Blue Angels, F-22 fighter jets and possibly other military aircraft.

“It’ll be special and I hope a lot of people come,” Trump said.

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