No July 4 'rockets' red glare' for some military bases
July 4th, 2013
09:43 AM ET
10 months ago

No July 4 'rockets' red glare' for some military bases

(CNN) - Even as the automatic spending cuts of the sequester continue to lack the major repercussions originally anticipated, there will be a glaring example of their impacts visible above many U.S. military bases this Independence Day.

Multiple bases, including Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii and North Carolina's Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base have been forced to cancel their July 4 fireworks displays in order to save money, according to Time.

In canceling its fireworks, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam expected to save some $55,000. The at least 25-year tradition at the base has typically drawn some 13,000 people annually. Instead, the base will be holding a beach fest for the Fourth, according to Grace Hew Len, director of public affairs.

The effects have been felt beyond military bases, with Cowpens National Battlefield also canceling its celebrations. The North Carolina Revolutionary War battle site saved $31,000 by canceling the event, most of the $42,000, or 5%, in budget cuts the site was dealt this year, according to Superintendent John Slaughter.

Slaughter is hopeful he'll be able to raise enough money through philanthropy to restore the Cowpens fireworks next year, for the four to six thousand people who attend each year, according to Time.

Fireworks displays go back as far as the first Fourth of July celebration, with a show held in the air above Philadelphia July 4, 1777. The organizers? Members of the Continental Congress. "That was a time in the [Revolutionary] War when things weren't going well," Time quotes American University's Librarian Emeritus James Heintze as saying. "It was a morale builder."

Read the full Time article


Filed under: Budget • July 4 • Military
soundoff (73 Responses)
  1. Accountable

    Or, the four to six thousand people who attend each year could pay $5 each and have their beloved fireworks without being a burden on the system.

    July 4, 2013 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  2. oldpatriot

    I am so happy to see that military bases will not be allowed to be free on freedom day, they will not be allowed to be independent thinkers on Independence day, they will not be allowed to exercise their rights as human beings because they are slaves to the state ! That is what you get for being a zombie to the war fare state!

    July 4, 2013 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  3. Kris

    Go blow 100 million to go on safari... better save 50 grand... because it polls me as pragmatic...

    July 4, 2013 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  4. km

    Big deal! Just go watch the fireworks someplace else!

    July 4, 2013 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  5. Kyle

    This debate over budgets and deficits is about more than just numbers on a page; it’s about more than just cutting and spending. It’s about the kind of future that we want. It’s about the kind of country that we believe in. Cutting will put us on a good course. Spend where we need to.

    July 4, 2013 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  6. Steve

    This is all entertaining conversation. Having served 25 years in the AF and listening to all TV network diatribes on all issues facing this nation, this to shall pass. I want to wish all members of the US military a Happy 4th of July. They serve this country so we still enjoy the privilege to live here.

    July 4, 2013 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  7. Really

    In response to Accountable. What a great idea to make them pay $5 each, while your President and his family spend $100 million on a tour of Africa. Makes perfect sense.

    July 4, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  8. greg

    Are we sure this isn't Sargent Slaughter.... If it were...he could find a way.

    July 4, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  9. Pete

    It might remind people to fight back against the NSA and drones.

    July 4, 2013 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  10. noly972

    Bill Smells said, "$100,000,000 for a vacation to Africa. Reward for our servicemen and service women, $0."

    Then,

    heatherjtucker2013 said, "that dumb dumb president can take his family on a 700,000 trip to africa..."

    First, where did you two get those totally different made-up costs for the working trip to Africa? There may be some vacation aspects for the daughters, but it's a diplomatic trip, not a vacation. You should stop getting your facts from Limbaugh & Beck.

    Second, why is the sequester only the president's fault? It took two opposing groups to cause that fiasco. Again, you should stop getting your facts from Limbaugh & Beck.

    Please step out of the echo chamber and join the real world.

    July 4, 2013 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  11. Jesse

    As a vet I say this is pathetic. We ask more and more of them but give them less and less. Then when they transition out to civilian life we make them wait literally years for medical benefits.

    July 4, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  12. chris

    It would be nice to see budget cuts start at the top and trickle down for once. Instead of starting at the bottom cuz they only go so far up.

    July 4, 2013 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  13. keeth

    @Kris: There was no safari. @Really: The Africa trip would have cost that much if it were Prez Romney, Paul, George, or Ringo. By all means, let's do turn inward from the world and focus only ourselves. Nationalism and an unwillingness to engage the outside world worked out so well for the US and the world between the two World Wars. (cough) Get a clue.

    July 4, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  14. Dean

    In canceling its fireworks, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam expected to save some $55,000. The at least 25-year tradition at the base has typically drawn some 13,000 people annually-------------Hope Owebama enjoyed his $100 million dollar trip. And the $50 million he gave for voter registration cards in Africa and the billions he gave them for electricity.
    Heck we can lay off another 5% of employees to pay for it.

    July 4, 2013 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  15. Kingofthenet

    Just use some Tracers rounds, a couple of AC 130's dropping shells and end with a Daisy Cutter, you have the stuff already, why not?

    July 4, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  16. John

    There is NO MONEY for fireworks...

    But there IS MONEY for a $100 million trip to Africa plus $7 Billion in aid to Africa.

    July 4, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  17. Maire

    I am a military wife and absolutely fine with this decision. Better they cut fireworks and other extracurricular things than pay or benefits though this would be but a mere drop in the bucket.

    July 4, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  18. Malory Archer

    Really
    In response to Accountable. What a great idea to make them pay $5 each, while your President and his family spend $100 million on a tour of Africa. Makes perfect sense.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Since you're not even an American citizen it's none of YOUR business.

    July 4, 2013 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  19. brett thomas

    obama. the biggest fraud ever perpetrated on america.

    July 4, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  20. sevensins

    Yup not hot meals or fireworks for you folks risking your lives for our freedoms. Obama too busy spending all the resources on vacations, endless campaigning, golf and assorted nonessential wasteful practices.

    July 4, 2013 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  21. Not surprised.

    7 billion dollars to africa and 100 million on a stupid meaningless trip while troops don't get fireworks or hot meals and children can't visit the white house. God Job Obama, keep up the lame work.

    July 4, 2013 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  22. S1N

    @old patriot = You're an idiot. Service members can still buy their own fireworks to light. The bases won't be paying for their own displays. The DoD's budget doesn't need to be going towards pretty light shows. It needs to be going to personnel and equipment.

    July 4, 2013 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  23. Jack

    #Really – all Presidents, to include the previous nutcase (Bush) and the current incompetent (Obama), had stupid amounts of money spent on them for the holidays. Having people pay a couple bucks to see their fireworks isn't necessarily a bad idea even if the overall impact on the true government budget is negligible.

    July 4, 2013 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
1 2 3