Mayor Muriel Bowser of Washington, D.C., contended that her city did not have much to gain from Donald Trump’s “Salute to America” on July 4, and expressed fears about the president “glorifying military might” during the controversial celebration.
“I don’t think we get anything out of it,” Boswer, a Democrat elected to lead the District in 2014, told National Public Radio during an interview Tuesday.
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Boswer said that “as just an American who loves celebrating the Fourth of July as a nonpolitical event,” she has “some concerns about a president not celebrating the military but glorifying military might. That scares me the most.”
Reflecting on the traditionally bipartisan nature of the annual fireworks and Independence Day festivities that have taken place on the National Mall in years past, Boswer added: “I think kind of more deeply concerning to me is, what does it mean to have a president look to dictators as an example of how to celebrate your nation with a show of your military might?”
Boswer referenced “a lot of examples of military parades” in foreign countries that she asserted were not “reflective of American values” — echoing criticism that the White House bash too closely resembles similar militaristic displays in repressive regimes around the world. The mayor revealed she had not made her concerns known to the Trump administration, and did not plan to do so before Thursday.
Bowser also said she hasn’t been provided a manifest from federal government officials detailing which military equipment is headed to the Mall after photos began circulating on social media showing Bradley and Abrams tanks arriving in Washington via rail.
But Bowser insisted she remained well-informed by the administration, saying: “Our stance is to support the activities of the federal government for July Fourth as we have always done,” she said.
Appearing Wednesday on MSNBC, Bowser said she did not yet know what the city’s price tag for the event would total, citing the need for an increased law enforcement presence and the potential for additional officers to respond to protests and demonstrations.
“We don’t know what our total local costs will be,” she said. “If we have extraordinary police costs, for example, we will seek that reimbursement from the federal government.”
The president played the role of hype man for the event online Wednesday morning, tweeting: “Our July 4th Salute to America at the Lincoln Memorial is looking to be really big. It will be the show of a lifetime!”