President TrumpDonald TrumpUN meeting with US, France canceled over scheduling issue Trump sues NYT, Mary Trump over story on tax history McConnell, Shelby offer government funding bill without debt ceiling MORE plans to highlight the U.S. military establishment and American freedom in his speech on Thursday night as part of the Fourth of July "Salute to America" festivities on the National Mall.
According to excerpts of his address released ahead of the event, Trump will say that "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!"
"Today, just as it did 243 years ago, the future of American freedom rests on the shoulders of men and women willing to defend it," the president is set to say. "As long as we stay true to our cause — as long as we remember our great history — and as long as we never stop fighting for a better future — then there will be nothing that America cannot do."
Trump's speech is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. and run for one hour at the Lincoln Memorial. It will be followed by a concert on the National Mall, and end with a half-hour fireworks display.
The president has come under criticism for the "Salute to America" event, which Democrats say risks politicizing what should be a celebration for all Americans. Detractors have also objected to the military's prominent presence, with tanks brought into Washington and multiple flyovers scheduled for the evening.
Earlier on Thursday, Trump tweeted that the event will be "worth the trip and wait," and added that it "looks like a lot of people" were already on their way to the National Mall.