Military flyovers stunned crowds at Trump's controversial 'Salute to America' Fourth of July event

  • President Donald Trump’s controversial “Salute to America” Fourth of July event featured military flyovers despite tricky weather in Washington, DC.
  • There were questions earlier in the day about whether the flyovers and fireworks would continue.
  • Trump’s speech drew criticism from some who argued that Trump was politicizing the military, but others were impressed by the show of military might.
  • During his speech, Trump introduced each flyover by paying tribute to each military branch.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Heavy rain drenched the crowds at the National Mall for President Donald Trump’s speech at his “Salute to America” Fourth of July event – but it didn’t stop the highly anticipated flyovers.

Despite questions earlier in the day about whether the rain would prevent the military flyovers and fireworks scheduled for Thursday evening, aircraft from each of the military’s branches made appearances, stunning the crowds.

The event had drawn heavy criticism that Trump was politicizing the military and co-opting what should have been a day of national unity.

But others were excited to see the show of might by military tanks stationed outside the Lincoln Memorial and the flyovers by each military branch.

The flyovers were interspersed through Trump’s speech. He introduced them by paying tribute to each military branch, telling stories about their histories.

Here are the aircraft that participated:


A flyover of the plane known as Air Force One when the president is aboard kicked off Trump’s speech.

Associated Press/Alex BrandonSpecial Air Mission 28000, Air Force One when the president is aboard, flying over Washington.

Three Coast Guard aircraft then zoomed overhead as Trump regaled the crowd with stories of Coast Guard actions during World War II.


Trump then introduced the Air Force, with a B-2 stealth bomber and two F-22 Raptors flying overhead.


“It is our incredible airmen today who wield the most powerful weapon systems on the planet Earth,” Trump said. “For over 65 years, no enemy air force has managed to kill a single American soldier, because the skies belong to the United States of America.”


A new Marine One helicopter and two Ospreys represented the Marines.


“That motto, Semper Fidelis — always faithful — burns in the soul of every Marine, a sacred promise, the core has kept since the birth of our country,” Trump said. “They are the elite masters of air and land and sea, on battlefields all across the globe. They are the United States Marines.”


Attack helicopters from the US Army also did a fly pass.


The crowds watched the displays on giant screens and took photos and videos.


The show wrapped up with a flyover by the Blue Angels, the Navy’s flight-demonstration squadron.


The aircraft flew overhead once in a tight formation, then took a second pass where they split off.

Associated Press/Alex Brandon

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.