The July 4 Salute to America was a thrilling, awe-inspiring celebration of America’s greatness.
Jaws dropped from the first minute as Air Force One soared low over the Lincoln Memorial just as President Trump and the First Lady stepped onto the stage.
The hot, muggy, rainy weather did nothing to dampen the spirits of the crowd who, like me, surely have never seen such a magnificent Independence Day jubilee.
The president’s 56-minute speech was a history lesson, much needed for children suffering through public education today. He talked about this young nation’s great innovators and adventurers—the Wright Brothers, Thomas Edison, Lewis and Clark, and more—all seizing the opportunity that America welcomes and, for the most part, still nurtures.
He called out heroes on the stage with him: Clarence Henderson who sparked the civil rights movement when he courageously sat down at the Woolworth lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina. Tina Belcher, a hurricane relief volunteer who cooked meals in her tiny kitchen for 476 neighbors after Hurricane Michael. And NASA moon landing flight director Gene Kranz.
The president thanked the police officers and other first responders who keep our communities safe, to the crowd’s cheers. But the focus was on the five military services as he described the unique contributions each has made to protecting our freedoms.
In masterful timing, the Army band then played each service’s song just as its aircraft soared down the Reflecting Pool over the Lincoln Memorial—a Coast Guard HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter, an Air Force B-2 Stealth Bomber, Navy F-18 Super Hornets and F-35, the new VH-92 Marine One helicopter, the thunderous sounds of Army Apache helicopters, and nearly a dozen more.
Patriotic Americans from across the country watched in pride and awe at this demonstration of America’s magnificence and might.
The salute ended with the crowd singing along to “Proud to be an American!” Then, just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, the Blue Angels came soaring back over the Lincoln Memorial, in a surprise finish that had the crowd gasping in awe—and many like me with tears of joy and pride in their eyes.
And then the fireworks! President Trump promised the best show ever, and it WAS! Those who had read the newspapers knew to be near the Lincoln Memorial for these (donated) fireworks where the extravaganza exploded overhead.
I have been to many July 4 fireworks displays on the Mall—including the bi-centennial celebration in 1976 that I saw from the White House lawn. But nothing topped this!
The critics were simply wrong in claiming this was a political show (not a political word was uttered), a parade (it was not a parade but a ceremony), and that it was vanity theater for the president (he conceived and helped choreograph it, but this was a performance for America and the world).
It’s okay to be proud of America, this bastion of liberty, and to celebrate the freedom that has inspired and liberated countless millions of people around the planet from the oppression of tyranny.
“As we gather this evening, in the joy of freedom, we remember that we all share a truly extraordinary heritage,” Trump said. “Together, we are part of one of the greatest stories ever told — the story of America.”
The Salute to America was one for the ages. USA! USA! USA!
Ms. Turner fights for health freedom at the Galen Institute.