Police reportedly evacuated the West Front of the U.S. Capitol due to severe downpour and lightning strikes on the Fourth of July, just more than an hour before President Donald Trump gave his “Salute to America” speech at the Lincoln Memorial.
Multiple news outlets reported that the evacuations were executed earlier Thursday for severe weather conditions. According to The Hill, U.S. Capitol Police evacuated the area after lightning struck “near the National Mall” ahead of Trump’s planned Independence Day event.
At around 4:30 p.m. the band left the stage at Lincoln Memorial after an announcement was made delaying the “Salute to America” program due to severe storms moving through the region. “Today’s event has been delayed. Please standby,” organizers of the event said
Trump tweeted prior to his scheduled speech that the event will go ahead. “Weather looking food, clearing rapidly and temperatures going down fast, See you in 45 minutes, 6:30 to 7:00 P.M. at Lincoln Memorial,” the president tweeted.
During his speech, Trump praised Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Border Patrol, law enforcement and the armed services. “Our nation has always honored the heroes who serve our communities, first responders, police, sheriffs, ICE, Border Patrol and all of the brave men and women of law enforcement,” the president said. “On this July Fourth, we pay special tribute to the military service members who laid down their lives for our nation.”