No July 4 'rockets' red glare' for some military bases
July 4th, 2013
09:43 AM ET
1 year 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. sherman

    so give them a pass to the local fireworks. its not like there are not a zillion of them, of course in the hot areas they are probably going to be banned any way. and here its raining too hard and they will be cancelled... we can watch Egypts on the internet. just saying...we could. or may Chicago could have web cam...

    July 4, 2013 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  2. sherman

    why am I in perpetual time out in this type of comment area but okay in the discuss part? vas es loose ???

    July 4, 2013 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  3. Tad_Pole

    It wasn't $100,000,000 for his vacation it was over $10 BILLION. No. No wait.. it was $10 trillion. Yes, how can our president go on a $10 tillion vacation to Africa, and yet our soldiers can't have fireworks on the 4th?

    July 4, 2013 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  4. John/kc

    You worry about out President going to foreign countries and a waste of money. Here in Kansas, our beloved Governor, a republican, is going to Paris with his family on the tax payer tab to look for jobs. Talk about a waste of money!

    July 4, 2013 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  5. Barry

    Maybe if the fireworks were contracted out to Lockheed-Martain the money could be found to do it.

    July 4, 2013 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  6. wade

    Obama can spend 100 million for vacationing in Africa but we cannot spend money on our troops that make his freedom possible. SICK!

    July 4, 2013 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  7. Fred

    Wow!..CNN allowed some criticism of Obama? Amazing

    July 4, 2013 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  8. Redeye Dog

    These days its about advertising your pain so the liberal media stays out of your house! Truly sickening!!

    July 4, 2013 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  9. Sandi

    Unbelievable that so many people can actually think that Obama had anything to do with the sequestration instead of placing the blame where it lies – on the doorstep of the Republican run Congress. Unfortunately, these are the same people who won't open their eyes to the fact that this Congress, instead of looking out FOR the American people and the military, have spent more time making sure not pass anything the President wants no matter how much it would help the American people.

    July 4, 2013 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  10. Jack Hammer

    Didn't we just pledge to donate 7 billion dollars to Africa?

    I live in New York and Fleet Week was canceled this year because of the sequester and now the fireworks on military bases, yet we still have the money to fund a 100 million dollar vacation for the Obamas and 7 billion to give to Africa.

    I am disgusted

    July 4, 2013 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  11. Pete

    To everyone who says this is ridiculous and but a drop in the bucket, tell that to the hundreds of thousands of people who are being furloughed or laid off. It'd just be a drop in the bucket of many organizations to pay them. At least the military is acting like its cutting back in other areas.

    July 4, 2013 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  12. dan

    so obama can spend $100,000,000 on a trip to africa, but cant get fireworks on bases to celebrate the country.........

    July 4, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  13. ACJS

    The military cannot have a 4th of July celebration but the US funded the terroristic Muslim Brotherhood until the people helped their military coup. Sad state of the US

    July 4, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  14. TheAnswer

    LIberals secretly love cancelled fireworks displays, as it is the biggest "patriotic" event most people attend during the year. They'd love for all fireworks displays to be canned.

    July 4, 2013 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  15. Madre in Padre

    Large fireworks displays are a huge waste of money. Having every military base do them is not responsible. They should be done regionally. For example – in Hawaii there are 5 military bases (Schofield, Wheeler if it's still open, Pearl Harbor, Fort Shafter, and Kaneohe Bay MCAS) – the MWR's should work together to host one event and advertise it on all bases. Better yet – get corporate sponsorship from Budweiser.....

    July 4, 2013 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  16. cpc65

    Just fire off some mortars.

    July 4, 2013 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  17. Bob

    Hard cuts were not made, just those to get negative publicity. Big contractors responsible for much of the waste in DOD budget are unaffected because they have Congress in their pocket. Troops are not suffering and not having fireworks doesn't affect readiness. Leadership needs to stand up and cut the waste even if it affects pet projects and could affect future employment with contractors.

    July 4, 2013 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  18. Fgvhbhb

    Sandi, Congress is not Republican-run. There are TWO legislative bodies each with a different party in complete control. If you think only one of them is screwing you, you need to pull your head out of the sand or wherever else you may have stuck it and take a look around. The two-party system stopped working long before the current administration but as long as pawns like you can be tricked into laying all the blame at the feet go the other guys, nothing will get better.

    July 4, 2013 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  19. Everett

    Meanwhile, we send billions of dollars to prop up Islamic governments in the Middle East.

    July 4, 2013 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  20. Sage

    It is most unfortunate that there are those who believe that the President is on a personal vacation soaking up the rays in Africa on our dime; you should realize that his travel comes with the job including all the security, Air Force personnel needed to refuel the various aircraft that carry everybody & everything. While it is expensive it isn't in the trillions nor in the billions.

    Part of the reason for his travel is to offer funds to those countries who may be considered allies to us; If you haven't been paying attention China has been sinking billions in to Africa. They have natural resources but, lake the infrastructure and stable governments needed to manage it.
    It's just the reality of how it works; nothing new.
    I agree with Sandi, if you wish to place blame then put it squarely on the shoulders of Congress, they make and pass the laws and control the purse strings; there hasn't been a budget passed in at least 5 years instead it's been continuing resolutions and no real action.
    The sequestration was supposed to be across the board so all could feel the pain but, little by little, agencies were exempted. So now only those who are affected are children (head start), the elderly, (meals on wheels) and DOD (me).
    Yep, I'm doing my part to help the government save money; are you?

    July 4, 2013 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  21. Karl

    No "major repercussions" to sequester? Brian Koenig open your eyes! Just looking at the DoD, training has slowed to a crawl. Several flying units are grounded. Next week 900,000 people are taking a 20% pay cut or more with furloughs. The way these cuts had to be made, a 10% reduction of fiscal year 2013 funds over 5 months, are hurting people! Let's just hope the cuts don't kill somebody due to the lack of proficiency of our Air Force pilots.

    July 4, 2013 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  22. Mike

    sandy, the democratically controlled senate also is to blame. It takes both sides of congress to pass the budget. I do not believe Obama and this current congress has passed an actual budget. Just a bunch of continuing resolutions. Even Bush and Clinton were able to pass full budgets. This group is completely inept both democrats and republicans. They all need to be voted out next election.

    July 4, 2013 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  23. ratherbboating

    100million for his and his wife's vacation. Waste of money. The White House closed so that Americans can not visit, but if you are one of his muslin brothers, you can get a personally guided tour. Egypt in crisis, where is he at? Playing golf again. Where is the Sec of State? on his multimillion dollars yacht.

    July 4, 2013 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  24. Woody

    It would be nice if military bases would nix the China made American flags too that cost millions of American soldiers jobs when they return home . American flags should only be made in America . By American veterans ! It would be a start to having jobs waiting for all that served under the American "Made in America " ! Flag .

    July 4, 2013 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  25. jim

    funny thing is that 55000 will probably buy the army a lamppost and a desk and MAYBE a few pens

    seriously look it up. a stapeler costs the army 55$, paper plates 20$ and a desk can go into the thousands.

    July 4, 2013 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
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