“The President can speak at any event that he wants to speak at,” Bowser said in an interview Thursday with the Post. “And my great hope would be that he recognizes that the event is a unifying event that celebrates the birthday of our nation.”
The Independence Day celebrations have not undergone serious reconsideration since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, according to the Post. When asked directly by the paper if she would prefer this year’s festivities to stay the way they have been in years past, Bowser said, “Yes.”
In the interview with the Post, most of Bowser’s concerns were logistical — fear that the increased security presence with the President’s attendance could strain local law enforcement and hamper the experience of the many tourists who visit DC during the Fourth of July celebrations.
“We are very happy to host the nation’s fireworks here every year, and over the years it’s become a pretty well-oiled machine,” Bowser said. “That is our primary concern: How do people have a good time, celebrate and be safe on the Mall and getting home?”
“If we have to put more police to cover his movements, more police for the fireworks and an additional location for police where the fireworks are going to get set off, that puts a strain on us,” Bowser said in the interview with the Post. “We won’t allow it to impact neighborhood safety. So the chief will have to think about if he needs additional resources.”
Since attending the Bastille Day celebration in Paris in 2017, Trump has made a public push for large-scale events where he is the centerpiece. In early 2018, the administration planned a military parade for Veterans Day that was to include tanks rolling through the nation’s capital. The event was eventually postponed, then canceled due to its high costs.