President Donald Trump’s visit to Mount Rushmore won’t come without some major fanfare.
The president’s planned July 3 trip to the national monument was scheduled as part of Independence Day celebrations, and will include the first use of fireworks in the area in over a decade.
According to the governor’s office, the fireworks likely won’t be the only patriotic spectacle at the national park.
“We do anticipate there being a military flyover of some kind,” South Dakota Republican Gov. Kristi Noem’s communications director, Ian Fury, told Politico.
“We’re communicating with numerous federal agencies on planning this event.”
While the official planning process for the flyover has not yet begun, Pentagon officials are discussing what it might entail, a defense official told Politico.
The patriotic display will be a part of a massive celebration of America, similar to a previous event Trump arranged for Independence Day.
The fireworks show, meanwhile, is set to be the first in the area since 2009, according to the Sioux Falls Argus Leader. While the more than decade-long ban on pyrotechnics was meant to prevent forest fires, Trump has said he’s skeptical of the danger.
“For 20 years or something it hasn’t been allowed for environmental reasons,” Trump told conservative podcast host Dan Bongino last month. “You believe that one? It’s all stone.”
To handle a potential flood of people coming to see the event, a raffle system has been instituted to distribute tickets for the event.
The 7,500 tickets will be distributed at random, ensuring everyone has a chance at seeing the show. Those who aren’t able to secure admission will still be able to view the fireworks from nearby areas.
The celebration, still a month away, comes as America reels from multiple crises.
The coronavirus outbreak that’s ravaged America over the past several months shows no signs of disappearing before the Independence Day celebrations.
Similarly, national unrest and protests over death of George Floyd, who died May 25 in Minneapolis after a police officer knelt on his neck for roughly nine minutes during an arrest, appear far from over with the country’s most iconic holiday right around the corner.
While much of the outrage seems to be happening in liberal areas like New York City, Washington, D.C., has also faced scores of protesters.
A military flyover, while serving as a show of American might for patriots, will likely be seen by the left as an even greater politicization of the armed forces by Trump.
With how chaotic 2020 has been for America, there’s no telling what new challenges Trump will be facing when Independence Day comes around.
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