July 4 Independence Day M2 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle Lincoln Memorial
USA

USA Celebrates 4 July As Trump Promises The 'Show Of A Lifetime'

The US military will take centre stage, with a wide variety of weaponry on display and fighter jets flying overhead. 

July 4 Independence Day M2 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle Lincoln Memorial

An M2 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle in front of the Lincoln Memorial for Independence Day (Picture: PA).

US President Donald Trump is promising the "show of a lifetime" at Washington's National Mall for 4 July celebrations.

Hundreds of thousands of revellers are expected to flock to the capital for Independence Day.

The US military will take centre stage, with a wide variety of weaponry on display and fighter jets flying overhead. 

President Trump is calling his event a 'Salute to America' in honour of the armed forces, and he will speak at the Lincoln Memorial in front of a ticket-only, VIP crowd of Republican donors, administration and campaign officials, family members.

The speech is scheduled for 18:30 local time (22:30 GMT). The President's address to the nation will be televised, as well as the display of military hardware and a fireworks display.

It is reported that after Mr Trump's speech, there will be a 21-gun salute and a flyover by the Air Force One.

However, the event is due to draw in many protestors who are critical for what they see as a divisive intrusion on a traditionally unifying national holiday.

July 4 Celebrations 2018 US DEPT OF DEFENSE
Fireworks light up the sky for July 4 celebrations in 2018 (Picture: US Department of Defense)

Under White House direction, the Pentagon is arranging for an Air Force B-2 stealth bomber and other warplanes to conduct a fly-past.

There will be Navy F-35 and F-18 fighter jets, the Navy Blue Angels aerobatics team, Army and Coast Guard helicopters and Marine V-22 Ospreys.

The Federal Aviation Administration announced on Tuesday that operations at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport would be suspended twice during the celebrations. In normal years it does not close at all.

President Trump has also come under fire for the cost of the event but in response, he tweeted it "will be very little compared to what it is worth".

"We own the planes, we have the pilots, the airport is right next door (Andrews), all we need is the fuel," he said, referring to Maryland's Joint Base Andrews, home for some of the planes that are to fly over the Mall on Thursday.

"We own the tanks and all. Fireworks are donated by two of the greats."

The White House referred questions about the cost of the military participation to the Pentagon, which said it did not have the answer.

The US Air Force said it costs 122,311 US dollars (£96,500) an hour to fly a B-2 bomber, which is making the round trip from its home at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri.

Officials said the flight will be considered a training event, with the cost already budgeted. The per-hour flying cost of the F-22 fighter is 65,128 US dollars (£51,360).