WASHINGTON D.C. (Nexstar) – The Fourth of July festivities are in full swing in the nation’s capital… starting with the National Independence Day Parade.
A sea of red, white, and blue with flags representing every state and hundreds of thousands of people traveling from them to one place, Constitution Avenue in Washington D.C., to celebrate America’s birthday ahead of President Trump’s speech at the Lincoln Memorial.
“My son is a former marine, so it means a lot to us that people are patriotic,” said Michelle Merryman, a Republican from Maryland.
Eric Mitchell serves in the Navy and watched as his Platoon participated in the annual parade.
“I definitely see a lot of support for troops and a lot of support for Trump naturally because he’s our president,” said Mitchell.
Republicans and Democrats from around the country came to the nation’s capital for the Fourth of July not only to be patriotic, but also political.
When asked if they were watching Trump’s speech later, the two had very different responses.
“No, I’d rather watch paint dry,” said Mitchell, the Democrat from Pennsylvania.
“I’m hoping to hear what he’s looking at moving forward and where he thinks we’re going to go before the next election in 2020,” said Merryman.
Michelle Merryman says her support for the President is tied to one issue.
“Illegal immigration. We’re all for legal immigration. My husband’s family came over. His mother is first generation, but they came over legally.”
Immigration is a big issue for Mitchell. He and his shirt argue, “Immigrants Make America Great.”
However, he said it isn’t his biggest priority.
“I think that it’s more health care because military members like myself we have a really good health care system, TriCare, but there’s millions of Americans every day who can’t even go to the hospital because they don’t want to pay huge fees.”
But both agree, today is a day to choose patriotism over politics and celebrate a mutual respect for their country.
“Independence Day is really just a celebration of American culture,” said Mitchell.
“It’s not about Democrat and Republican. It’s just about supporting everyone in the U.S. as a whole,” said Merryman.