By Amanda Walker, US correspondent
Americans aren't known for low-key Fourth of July celebrations.
But rarely have they reached these heights of military extravaganza. But then rarely has there been a president with such a penchant for flamboyant spectacle.
This was no campaign speech as many had feared – under Lincoln's marble gaze a well behaved Trump stuck to the script which was essentially a military history lesson.
Donald Trump has made clear his admiration of military muscle-flexing abroad. His head was turned by France's Bastille Day – two years later this is his version – dubbed 'Salute to America', it delighted his supporters.
Crowds came from New York, California, Wisconsin – all over – for what the people I spoke to largely saw as a fun event – "He's the president – why not speak to everyone on July 4th," said one guy.
Another military family who have lost loved ones in action said they were grateful for this honouring of US troops.
But in an overwhelmingly Democratic city most natives chose to give Trump's bash a wide berth. Washington DC residents expressed alarm over seeing tanks brought to the nation's capital.
One woman told me she felt frightened by the atmosphere Trump has created on what is usually a holiday of celebration.