In what had already been widely criticized and condemned as a page-by-page playbook of Stalin’s Russia, China’s Tiananmen Square and North Korea dictatorship before the “Salute To America” Independence Day event took place, President Trump successfully sucked the wind out of the naysayers when he did the opposite of what had been both predicted and anticipated .

Instead, what had been sold to the American public as a would-be full-fledged Soviet-style military parade with all the pomp and circumstance, a military armada, turned out to be an event that was family friendly and apolitical. As a result of its success, it was embraced and appreciated by many Americans who fell in love with the concept.  

The flyovers started before President Trump took the stage.  As soon as he and the First Lady arrived, a VC-25 Boeing jet which is Air Force One, flew over the National Mall in time to get his attention as he made his way to the stage.

Air Force One flies over the National Mall and Reflection Pool during a ‘Salute To America’ event in Washington DC on Thursday July 4, 2019. Credit: Reuters
Air Force One flies over the Lincoln Memorial as President Trump and The First Lady arrive for the “Salute To America” celebration event July 4, 2019. Credit: Reuters

President Trump gave a shoutout to each of the five branches of the Defense Forces beginning with the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Marines and the U.S. Army. He ended with the “very soon” to be “Space Force” which he has been touting since assuming office.

Flanked by the nation’s two military chiefs, Acting Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Major Gen. Joseph Dunford who is the Joint Chiefs Chairman, President Trump delivered an inspirational speech that was apolitical and unifying while extolling American strength, greatness and innovation.

 It was then that the flyovers began. 

U.S. Coast Guard’s two helicopters, an HH-60 Pave Hawk and an HH-65 Dolphin and an AC-144 Ocean Sentry during a flyover at “Salute To America” event in DC on July 4, 2019. Credit: Fox
President Trump and the military chief watch the Coast Guard helicopters and an osprey fly past the Washington Monument on June 4, 2019. Credit: AFP/Getty Images

Next to fly was the U.S. Coast Guard’s two helicopters, an HH-60 Pave Hawk and an HH-65 Dolphin from Air Station Atlantic City. The AC-144 Ocean Sentry came from Air Station in Miami.  

The next lot stole the show. The U.S. Air Force’s two F-22 Raptor Fighters and the brand new B-2 Spirit stealth bomber stunned the crowd and stole the show. The crowd was stunned and the reception amazing as they marvelled at the stealth bomber from Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri and the jets from Langley Air Force Base in Virginia.

U.S.Air Force’s two F-22 Raptor fighters and a B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber during a flyover at the “Salute To America” celebration in DC on July 4, 2019. Credit: AFP/Getty Images
U.S.Air Force’s two F-22 Raptor fighters and a B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber during a flyover at the “Salute To America” celebration in DC on July 4, 2019. Credit: Reuters

Next to fly was the U.S. Navy’s two F-35C Lightnings from Naval Air Station Lemoore in California and two F/A-18F Super Hornets from Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia.

Crowds at the National Mall jostle to take images of the military jets during flyover at the “Salute To America” event in Washington DC on Thursday, July 4, 2019.
The winners of the night was the stunned crowd of all stripes who enjoyed the flyovers at the “Salute To America” event in Washington DC, July 4, 2019. Credit: New York Times

After that were the U.S. Marine’s two V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft from Quantico, Virginia joined by the soon-to-be new Marine One Presidential helicopter, the Sikorsky VH-92.

U.S. Marine’s two Ospreys and a Marine helicopter during a flyover at the “Salute To America” celebration event in Washington DC on July 4, 2019. Credit: AFP/Getty Images
The U.S. Marine’s two Ospreys and a helicopter fly over the Lincoln Memorial during the “Salute To America” on Thursday July 4, 2019. Credit: Reuters

Next to do a flyover was the U.S. Army’s four AH-64 Apache attack helicopters.  They  flew over the National Mall towards the Lincoln Memorial as President Trump’s narration reverberated in the air, “In war there is no substitute for victory” and “They are the greatest soldiers on earth,” as the crowds screamed.  

The U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels during a flyover at the “Salute To America” Independence Day event in Washington DC on July 4, 2019. Credit: EPA
U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels flyover Lincoln Memorial at the “Salute To America” Independence Day event on July 4, 2019. Credit: AP

The grand finale of the flyover was the Navy’s iconic Blue Angels.  The six F/A 18 Hornets demonstration squadron which flew past the National Monument, over Reflecting Pool and the Lincoln Memorial wrapped up the show in high spirits.

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