On July 3, President Trump was slammed online after pictures surfaced showing him saluting with his right hand over his right eyebrow as the national anthem played. Many pointed out that he should have put his right hand over his chest.
Before their speeches and the firework displays, Trump and Melania stood on the outdoor stage at Mount Rushmore for the national anthem. The blunder was quickly noted on social media, and users slammed Trump for saluting during the anthem.
Political journalist Andrew Feinberg tweeted: "Can someone explain to @realDonaldTrump that as a civilian, non-veteran, he should have his hand over his heart during the national anthem?”
Another person tweeted: "I’ve never served but I have literally asked every vet and active solider I run into, and they all agree he should not be saluting.”
A third person wrote: "Trump embarrasses us in new ways every day."
The country's Flag Code states that “persons present during the playing of the national anthem are required to stand and face the flag, if there is one, while civilians should stand to attention with their right hand over heart, and military personnel in uniform and veterans are required to salute throughout.” However, there are no punishments for violating the code.
The South Dakota event had 7,500 people in attendance at the outdoor amphitheater. Before this event, Mount Rushmore had not hosted a fireworks display since 2009 due to environmental concerns. However, Trump approved the fireworks at the event.
In his speech, Trump slammed the ongoing anti-racism protests: "As we meet here tonight there is a growing danger that threatens every blessing our ancestors fought so hard for. Our nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values and indoctrinate our children."
"Those who seek to erase our heritage want Americans to forget our pride and our great dignity, so that we can no longer understand ourselves or America's destiny. They would tear down the beliefs, culture and identity that have made America the most vibrant and tolerant society in the history of the Earth. Mount Rushmore will stand forever as an eternal tribute to our forefathers, and to our freedom," he added.
Trump was once again slammed on social media on July 4 after he mixed up the Vietnam War and the Gulf Wars during his speech at the 244th Independence Day celebrations. A video clip of the speech was widely circulated on Twitter.
He stated in the speech: "In the fields and jungles of Vietnam, they delivered a swift and swipian [sic] — you know that sweeping — it was swift and it was sweeping like nobody’s ever seen happen — a victory in Operation Desert Storm, a lot of you were involved in that. A lot of you were involved.”
The Vietnam War occurred between 1955 and 1975, while Operation Desert Storm took place during the First Gulf War from 1990 to 1991 – a military operation aimed at removing occupying Iraqi forces from Kuwait, which had been invaded by Iraq and annexed months earlier.