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. Teamski

    The sad thing is that these cancellations are more political than anything else. The military has its own way of getting the public charged up over sequestration and cuts to the military. Think about it: $55,000 per base is but a drop in the bucket as far as the military is concerned. As a retired USAF member, I know this is all BS. Meanwhile, bases are blowing big time BRAC drawdown funds to upgrade existing bases at a cost of $Billions.

    -Ski

    July 4, 2013 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  2. Sam

    Back when I was a pup in the military, non-apropriated (non-government) funds were used to pay for fireworks. This is just another sequester ploy at work.

    July 4, 2013 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  3. Margaret Herssein

    I feel strongly that our young men and women serving in our Military should be able to celebrate the 4th. with fire works.
    Maybe our President should spend more time at home than spending millions on his travels....especially since he is not
    accomplishing anything. What a waste of our taxes!!

    July 4, 2013 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  4. Molasses

    I'm an active duty service member stationed at Ft. Meade, MD. We weren't supposed to have a 4th celebration/fireworks display due to budget cuts, but we did have one last night. I know this is not the case for every base, but Budweiser actually stepped in and sponsored (paid for) the entire thing. I thought that was very nice of them. It's always good to see companies show support and try to help with morale. It's amazing to see the community come together and just enjoy everything.

    July 4, 2013 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  5. alan

    just shows the military is a puppet to Osama obama

    July 4, 2013 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  6. hannah

    Why, oh why, can we not celebrate a holiday without explosives? I for one detest seeing what the noise does to my animals, who do not understand it's supposed to be "fun". I also remember all too vividly 9/11 when I hear that stuff, and I hate it. I resent my tax dollars going to support something I detest, and I'm glad for the ban. Just have some burgers and light a sparkler or two. That should be enough!

    July 4, 2013 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  7. Bill Smells

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

    July 4, 2013 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  8. Bob

    If we cut back on foreign aid we could pay hundreds times the cost of fireworks for our people HERE. Most of those countries despise us anyway and lets see them make do on their own and see if their attitudes change.

    July 4, 2013 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  9. JoHo

    No money for our service men and women to celebrate the 4th but millions to spend on another country and how much for his African vaca?

    July 4, 2013 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  10. houstonchica77057

    @Teamski – the other sad thing is that if they somehow figured out that charging only 2-3 dollars admission per person for such a huge crowd of 13,000, they would more than pay for expenses for the display.

    That is DOOOOOF at its best.

    For the things that most people would not mind paying 2-3 dollars for, people don't charge. When its something that no one wants to pay for, people charge 20-30 bucks.

    July 4, 2013 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  11. heatherjtucker2013

    that dumb dumb president can take his family on a 700,000 trip to africa yet our servicemembers get squat shame shame shame on you barak bin laden

    July 4, 2013 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  12. needNewGov

    Seems like a lot of GOP hate coming out today. Typical. If you feel sooooo sad about not having fireworks on military bases, why don't you write your GOP so-called leaders and donate some cash, or better yet yell at them for causing the sequester.

    July 4, 2013 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  13. Will S

    Fireworks are a waste of tax dollars.

    July 4, 2013 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  14. Aloha

    Load up the magazines with all tracers, some trip flares and parachute flares. Don't know if they are still around but get Puff up there. That'll be a show!

    July 4, 2013 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  15. Paul

    funny how did you come up with that number Mr Smells, and who said it was a vacation?

    July 4, 2013 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  16. NorCalMojo

    Let's celebrate our freedom with a ban.

    July 4, 2013 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  17. alf564

    But obummer can take his family, friends and secret service to visit some African countries and not worry about spending 100 MILLION DOLLARS. That money should NOT be paid for by the tax payers but come from DNC funds

    July 4, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  18. Steve

    Oh, jeez...poor Hannah doesn't like fireworks so therefore no one should like fireworks. Someone call up Disney and let them know that they should cancel all fireworks at all parks, despite how many people stay until the end to see them everyday, because Hannah doesn't like them. Ban them!

    July 4, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  19. agnar150

    Why can't we reduce politicians pay such as thoughts in Congress the get paychecks for life that is assured. That way our forces and our American people can have fireworks on one day of the year.

    July 4, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  20. Walter

    It's clear that the "horrible" sequestration cuts have had very little impact. Considering the fact that we're 15 trillion in debt, it appears we can go even further with the cuts.

    July 4, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  21. Bill From Long Island

    Yet Obama flies to Africa for a $100 million... this is the Commander-in-Chief?

    July 4, 2013 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  22. Mark

    Obama, you're trash. Lets see how much you spend today. I bet it's going to be disgusting.

    July 4, 2013 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  23. NOBAMA

    Obama can take the fam to africa but no fireworks for the troops!! Get this guy out of office ASAP!!

    July 4, 2013 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  24. gatecrasher1

    Yes Dear Leader can gallivant around his homeland and spend $100M while doing so, but $50K for a fireworks show to entertain the military and general public is extravagant?

    Occupy the White House.

    July 4, 2013 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  25. CGDoc

    Meanwhile the Obama Clan and their Entourage enjoy traveling through Africa where Barry just gave them $ 7 Billion.

    July 4, 2013 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
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