LONG BEACH ISLAND, NJ — Coast to coast, July 4th celebrants enjoyed the holiday with considerably less fireworks than what took place in Washington D.C.
Before this fireworks display, President Donald Trump addressed large crowds from the Lincoln Memorial praising the military in a show of pomp and patriotism.
“We will always be the people who defeated a tyrant across the continent, took to the skies and soared into the heavens because we will never forget that we are Americans, and the future belongs to us.”
But it wasn’t all cheers. Critics accused the president of turning the nation’s Independence Day celebration into a political event.
Ron Soriano, who was a United States Army captain, said that showing off military tanks and jets flyovers were just appropriate.
“You’re looking at you now when you’re celebrating America’s birthday 4th of July, so really in order for us to achieve that in 1776, it was the military that was used to achieve that so to me it was a non-issue.”
There were reports of clashes between protesters and Trump supporters after a group burned an American flag in front of the White House. Two people were arrested.
The Trump administration also dismissed concerns about the expense of the event. The occasion they said is a tribute to the country’s armed forces and a call for unity.
On Monday, in a Monmouth University poll, 52 percent of those surveyed said they were okay with how trump is choosing to celebrate the national holiday.
“I believe it was good. I believe it was a good exclamation point to the services to actually showing off the equipment we use on the daily basis.”
A sentiment that is likely shared by many beyond the nation’s capital.