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Trump hails 'American heroes' who helped US win independence

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STERLING, Va. (AP) — President Donald Trump wished America a happy Fourth of July holiday Wednesday and reserved special praise for the "American heroes" whose sacrifice he said helped the nation win her independence 242 years ago.

Trump tweeted a short video that included well wishes from him and first lady Melania Trump. The Trumps were hosting a White House picnic for military families later Wednesday, followed by a concert and viewing of the fireworks on the National Mall.

"Our freedom has been earned through the blood and sweat and sacrifice of American heroes," Trump said.

Trump left the White House on Wednesday morning clad in a white short-sleeved shirt, dark slacks and a cap and was driven west across the Potomac River in the direction of the private golf club he owns in Northern Virginia.

The White House did not immediately confirm that Trump is at the club. Reporters were not allowed to accompany him to his destination, as is the case with virtually all presidential travel.

Trump got into the Independence Day spirit a day earlier by celebrating active-duty service members during a military tribute Tuesday night in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. At the "Salute to Service" charity dinner, Trump praised "Americans of every generation" who have served in the armed forces.

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