President Trump’s dream of a celebration showing off America’s military capabilities will become a reality on Thursday, as the president confirmed tanks will play a role in Washington, D.C.’s Fourth of July festivities — and the vehicles were seen being hauled in on a freight train.
An Associated Press photographer spotted the two M1A1 Abrams tanks, along with four other military vehicles, in a railyard at the southeastern edge of Washington. A military official earlier told the AP that the tanks were transported north from Fort Stewart in Georgia.
This comes after the president said Monday: “We’re going to have some tanks stationed outside.”
The vehicles include M1A1 Abrams tanks, the type currently used by American armed forces, as well as Sherman tanks, the kind commonly used during World War II, according to the president. Having tanks rolling down the streets of D.C. had raised concerns due to their weight, with the Abrams tanks weighing upwards of 60 tons each. Trump acknowledged these concerns Monday, without offering many details.
“You’ve got to be pretty careful with the tanks because the roads have a tendency not to like to carry heavy tanks,” Trump said Monday. “So we have to put them in certain areas, but we have the brand new Sherman tanks and we have the brand new Abrams tanks.”
The military display is all part of the “Salute to America” event that Trump is putting on this Thursday.
“I’m going to say a few words and we’re going to have planes going overhead, the best fighter jets in the world and other planes, too,” Trump said. This includes a demonstration by the U.S. Navy Blue Angels.
There will also be fireworks near the Lincoln Memorial, which is where Trump is scheduled to speak.
Democrats, though, are worried that the president will turn the national event into a political rally.