WASHINGTON – As Donald Trump supporters and opponents confronted each other during a hot and rainy Fourth of July, Trump himself stressed holiday themes and paid tribute to the military during a speech that largely avoided politics.

"Our nation is stronger today than it ever was before, "Trump said at one point in his speech at the Lincoln Memorial, echoing a claim he has made often on the campaign trail.

" As long as we stay true to our cause, as long as we remember our great history and as long as we never stop fighting for a better future, then there will be nothing that America can do, "Trump said during his" Salute to America "event.

The day featured a parade, military flyovers, a display of tanks and demonstrations. Trump supporters and protesters gathered in Washington from Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House to the expanse or National Mall. No major violence was reported, though at least one scuffle broke out at a flag burning in front of the White House.

(Photo: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI, AFP / Getty Images)

While counting the story of George Washington and other revolutionaries who defeated the British more than two centuries ago, Trump also singled out each branch of the modern U.S. military, including his proposed "Space Force."

He also discussed U.S. accomplishments, from Alexander Graham Bell and telephone to the Wright Brothers and the airplane. He was introduced to a number of invited guests, from the flight director on the first moon landing in 1969 to gold star families who lost loved ones in battle.

The setting reflected the program's military theme, as tanks were displayed on the grounds of the Lincoln Memorial, including one in front of the speaking platform. Air Force One flew overhead against a cloudy twilight sky as the president and first lady Melania Trump ascended the makeshift stage in front of the memorial

At different points, sometimes amid a light rain, Trump paused in his speech to allow flyovers of allow. various pieces of equipment, from Coast Guard choppers to a B-2 stealth bomber.

The 47-minute set of remarks ended with a military band and choir performing a rendition of "Battle Hymn of the Republic." During the event, the band played the Army, Navy and Air Force marching songs.

Trump, who spoke behind a shield of rain-smeared bulletproof glass, also noted he was standing near the spot where Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered his "I Have A Dream" speech in 1963.

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