U.S. celebrates Independence Day with Trump-organized 'Salute to America'

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The United States is celebrating its July Fourth Independence Day.
The biggest celebration has been prepared by the Trump administration in Washington, and it's an event that triggered a lot of controversy.
For more on this and other news from around the world, let's turn to our Hong Yoo.
Yoo, tell us about some of questions raised by the president's critics?

Well, the Fourth of July celebrations in Washington began with a military parade featuring flyovers from military planes and a display of tanks.
This year's celebration is called "Salute to America", an event that President Trump had called the "show of a lifetime".
"Salute to America" is different to how the event is celebrated traditionally.
Former presidents have kept a low profile during Washington's annual celebration, which usually involves a nonpartisan concert and fireworks.
But this year, President Trump has decided to include a military parade and a giant fireworks display, and a speech of his own.

"Today we come together as one nation with this very special Salute to America. We celebrate our history, our people and the heroes who proudly defend our flag. The brave men and women of the United States military."

And some people say such additions have politicized a national holiday with Trump taking the spotlight in another effort to separate himself from every other president.

"What we're about to see is an all-day partisan, political, extravaganza featuring Donald Trump. Paid for by the American taxpayers. That is the first time any president has commandeered the Fourth of July for his own purposes."

There were also protests against President Trump nearby the Washington Monument with "Baby Trump" balloons inflated and some signs that read "Tanks, but no tanks".

"We're here today because we want to denounce Donald Trump politicizing and militarizing the Fourth of July, which is supposed to be a day that we come together for barbecues, tofu burgers, frankfurters, picnics, celebrations, fireworks, and instead he's turned it into a very divisive time."

Trump's extravaganza also raised questions on who will foot the bill.
According to The Washington Post, some of the events were paid for using National Park Service's funds used for park maintenance.
But Trump downplayed the complaints, tweeting Wednesday that the expenses "will be very little compared to what it is worth."
News & Politics
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