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The Latest: Trump asks Americans to ‘stay true to our cause’

Politics

Two Bradley Fighting Vehicles flank the stage being prepared in front of the Lincoln Memorial, Wednesday, July 3, 2019, in Washington, ahead of planned Fourth of July festivities with President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Independence Day in Washington (all times local):

10:20 p.m.

President Donald Trump celebrated the story of America as “the greatest political journey in human history” in a Fourth of July commemoration before a soggy but cheering crowd of spectators on the grounds of the Lincoln Memorial.

Supporters welcomed his tribute to the U.S. military while protesters assailed him for putting himself center stage on a holiday devoted to unity.

Trump called on Americans to “stay true to our cause” during a program that adhered to patriotic themes and hailed an eclectic mix of history’s heroes, from the armed forces, space, civil rights and other endeavors of American life.

He largely stuck to his script, avoiding diversions into his agenda or re-election campaign.

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8:15 p.m.

The U.S. Secret Service says two people were arrested during a Fourth of July flag-burning incident on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House.

The arrests were made about two hours before President Donald Trump paid tribute to the U.S. military during a speech at the Lincoln Memorial. The Secret Service says one person was arrested for felony assault on a police officer and malicious burning. The other was arrested for hindering a police investigation and resisting arrest. Neither individual was identified.

It is not illegal to burn a U.S. flag, but the Secret Service says the burning occurred beyond the limits of a permit issued by the National Park Service.

Two uniformed Secret Service officers suffered minor injuries while attempting to make the arrests.

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7:30 p.m.

President Donald Trump stuck with a patriotic message during his Fourth of July “Salute to America” speech, steering clear of the political rhetoric many had expected.

Trump hailed an eclectic mix of history’s heroes, from the armed forces, space, civil rights and other endeavors of American life. He largely adhered to his script, avoiding diversions into his agenda or re-election campaign.

Attendees were treated to flyovers by Coast Guard helicopters, Air Force F-22 fighters, Marine V-22 Osprey helicopters and other military aircraft.

The event ended with a flyover by the Navy’s Blue Angels aerobatics team.

Trump was the first president in nearly seven decades to address a crowd at the National Mall on Independence Day.

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7:15 p.m.

President Donald Trump is paying tribute to each branch of the U.S. armed forces, hailing their history before flyovers by aircraft from each service.

Trump is speaking at the Lincoln Memorial during a special Fourth of July “Salute to America” event.

Attendees have been treated to flyovers by Coast Guard helicopters, Air Force F-22 fighters, Marine V-22 Osprey helicopters and other military aircraft.

The event is ending with a flyover by the Navy’s Blue Angels aerobatics team.

Supporters have praised Trump’s celebration of U.S. military clout, while protesters have assailed him for putting himself center stage on a holiday devoted to unity.

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6:45 p.m.

President Donald Trump says “our nation is stronger than it ever was before.”

Trump is speaking at the Lincoln Memorial during a special Fourth of July “Salute to America” event.

He says that “for Americans, nothing is impossible.” He is reciting a litany of American accomplishments over its history, including the moon landing 50 years ago. And he is promising, “Very soon, we will plant the American flag on Mars.”

Trump is also paying tribute to U.S. service members.

Supporters have praised Trump’s celebration of U.S. military clout, while protesters have assailed him for putting himself center stage on a holiday devoted to unity.

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5:20 p.m.

President Donald Trump says the “future of American Freedom” lies with the men and women who are willing to defend it, as it did when America was founded.

That’s according to the speech Trump plans to deliver Thursday at the Lincoln Memorial during a special “Salute to America” event. The White House released excerpts from the speech about an hour before the president was set to speak.

Trump says “there will be nothing that America cannot do” as long as Americans remember the nation’s history and “never stop fighting for a better future.”

Trump has ordered the Pentagon to stage military demonstrations, including a flyover of jets, helicopters and other aircraft, for the event that critics are calling a waste of taxpayer dollars and a needless glorification of Trump.

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12:30 p.m.

An anti-war organization has put up a 20-foot-tall (6-meter-tall) diaper-clad balloon of an infant Donald Trump in the shadow of the Washington Monument to protest what it calls the president’s co-opting of Independence Day.

Code Pink co-director Medea Benjamin says the organization and its members “oppose the politicization of July Fourth by President Trump.”

Trump has ordered the Pentagon to stage military demonstrations, including a flyover of jets, helicopters and other aircraft. Trump says he’ll “speak on behalf of our great Country” at his “Salute to America” event.

Code Pink says the Republican president’s event is “a campaign rally.” It says the balloon is “a great symbol” because he is “a big baby” and is “prone to tantrums.”

Trump supporter Kevin Malton, of Middlesboro, Kentucky, took pictures with the balloon. He says he’s glad to see the mix of political beliefs at the event.

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11:50 a.m.

The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch for parts of the nation’s capital and the Maryland and Virginia suburbs hours before the Independence Day celebration on the National Mall is set to begin.

The watch is active until 8 p.m., which would stretch into the evening when President Donald Trump plans to speak from the Lincoln Memorial. Military flyovers also are on the schedule.

The Weather Service says storms are expected to develop early afternoon and there may be torrential rains. It says there’s a chance of flash flooding.

Trump has promised his “Salute to America” will be the “show of a lifetime” for revelers who flock to the National Mall. Critics call Trump’s event a waste of money.

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10:50 a.m.

President Donald Trump is marking the 243rd anniversary of the Founding Fathers’ adoption of the Declaration of Independence, an event he says “cast off the shackles of tyranny.”

Trump says in an Independence Day message released by the White House that the country is celebrating the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and recognizing the “courageous” members of the armed services who “have valiantly defended them.”

The Republican president says freedom rings “proudly throughout the United States and around the world because of the service and sacrifice of our nation’s veterans and military members.”

Trump is set to speak in the evening at the Lincoln Memorial. He has ordered the Pentagon to stage military demonstrations, including a flyover of jets, helicopters and other aircraft.

Trump says his “Salute to America” will be the “show of a lifetime.”

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10:30 a.m.

One of President Donald Trump’s Democratic rivals says he thinks it’s “ego” that’s motivating Trump’s Fourth of July event in the nation’s capital.

South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg (BOO’-tuh-juhj) says Trump’s “Salute to America” is “a show of insecurity.” Trump says the event will feature a speech and a display of military might.

Buttigieg is a Navy Reserve veteran who served in Afghanistan in 2014. He told a crowd in Sioux City, Iowa, on Wednesday night that “this business of diverting money and military assets to use them as a kind of prop, to prop up a presidential ego, is not reflecting well on our country.”

Trump has ordered the Pentagon to stage military demonstrations including a flyover of jets, helicopters and other aircraft. He says it’ll be the “show of a lifetime.”

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8:45 a.m.

President Donald Trump says he’ll “speak on behalf of our great Country” at his “Salute to America” Independence Day event in the nation’s capital.

Trump is set to give remarks in the evening at the Lincoln Memorial. He has ordered the Pentagon to stage military demonstrations, including a flyover of jets, helicopters and other aircraft.

Trump says there will be “large scale flyovers of the most modern … and advanced aircraft anywhere in the World.”

Critics call Trump’s event a divisive intrusion on a traditionally unifying national holiday and say it’s a waste of money. Trump tweeted Wednesday the cost “will be very little compared to what it is worth.”

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12:15 a.m.

Washington is celebrating Independence Day — with a Trump twist.

There’s the traditional July Fourth parade in the District of Columbia and the annual concert at the Capitol, plus fireworks over the National Mall. What’s new this year is that President Donald Trump is hosting an hourlong event in the early evening that he’s calling “Salute to America.”

Trump is set to speak at the Lincoln Memorial, and he’s ordered the Pentagon to stage military demonstrations including a flyover of jets, helicopters and other aircraft. He says it’ll be the “show of a lifetime.”

Trump’s activities at the Lincoln Memorial are free, but they’re not free of criticism. Some worry he will turn the program into a political event to boost his administration and his bid for reelection.

White House officials say Trump’s remarks will be patriotic.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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