WASHINGTON — National politics took the spotlight on the National Mall Thursday evening as thousands of people gathered to celebrate the Fourth of July.

This was the first year in decades that a U.S. president presided over the events of the celebration.

But, as President Donald Trump gave a speech to honor American heroes at the Lincoln Memorial, protesters made statements with "Baby Trump" balloons around the Washington Monument.

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Arlington County resident Carla Ward said this year's Independence Day Celebration felt different than those of years past.

"The militarization of it is truly disturbing," she said. "We don't have Fourths of July where we talk about the military."

But, Trump supporters seemed unfazed by criticisms from protesters that celebration had a political bent. 

Trump supporter Amone Banks said he felt the President's actions were appropriate.

"You've got to celebrate the country and I think he's doing a good job," he said.

MPD Chief Peter Newsham told WUSA9 that despite the evident political division in the crowd, there were no major problems that his officer encountered.

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