Fireworks illuminate the Mall in celebration of Independence Day in Washington on July 4, 2018. (Calla Kessler/The Washington Post)

Does President Trump have a license to speak on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on July 4? My admittedly light research shows that anyone who wants to use this magnificent memorial for an event must apply for a license and pay a $120 fee to the National Mall and Memorial Parks Division of Permits Management. It’s logical to assume that if you apply for a license, you may be turned down for specific reasons. Considering security precautions, extra costs, wear and tear of property and the potential for scuffles, fights and even violence to erupt if Mr. Trump spoke at the Lincoln Memorial on July 4, it seems reasonable, even obligatory, that his application be turned down. 

I agree with the critics in the June 7 Metro article “Trump’s July 4 plans assailed” who say it will “alter the family-friendly, nonpartisan atmosphere of one of Washington’s most popular summertime traditions.” I also agree with Petula Dvorak’s June 7 Metro column, “Trump set to befoul a monument to freedom.”

The Lincoln Memorial (my favorite building in the world) belongs to the American people. Let’s raise our voices in protest of its potential for being used/abused for political purposes.

Barbara Morris, Falls Church

So, President Trump has planned a Fourth of July celebration about himself, because he thinks he is worth it. Those in the D.C. area who find this disgusting could head south to Monticello, in Charlottesville, for a unique naturalization ceremony. The speaker this year is Khizr Khan, the Gold Star parent Mr. Trump ridiculed during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Deborah Buchanan, Charlottesville

I share the general dismay over the planned usurpation of Independence Day festivities on the Mall by the current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. But I take comfort in the knowledge that, really, the Fourth of July is too big for President Trump to steal. All he is taking over is one tiny aspect of this great holiday. In doing so, by focusing on the spectacle, he reveals how little he understands what is really celebrated on the Fourth.

It isn’t the fireworks or the bands or the speeches. It’s the idea of a nation founded upon ideas, not bloodlines; not a nation harking back to some imagined Golden Age but one forever looking forward, forever striving to improve upon its own vision of itself. The Fourth is an affirmation of truth, not braggadocio, of a promise shared equally, not meted out exclusively on the basis of some trumped-up notion of loyalty. And it is a reminder: Governments exist to serve the people, and their leaders serve only at the people’s pleasure.

W. Luther Jett, Washington Grove