No Fireworks for Many Military Bases But It's Still the 4th of July No Matter What


fireworksFireworks on the Fourth of July -- it's a cherished tradition that goes back so far, we almost can't imagine celebrating Independence Day any other way. But this year, many of our service members will have to go without that light show. Fireworks are furloughed for many military bases this summer no thanks to the $85 billion in across-the-board budget cuts that went into effect in March.

The Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base, Fort Bragg, and the Marine Corps Logistics Base in Albany, Georgia, and other bases will have to do without the annual fireworks display this year. Federal workers are losing pay as it is, and base officials can't justify the expense. Last year's celebration at Camp Lejeune cost $100,000. 

Choosing between paying people and fireworks -- that's tough, but I think we all know what the military's priorities should be. There are families depending on those paychecks. It's got to put a damper on people's spirits, though. For many, fireworks aren't just a lot of noise and lights in the sky. They're an important tradition that brings people together. "I know fireworks might seem silly to other people,” say mom of two Brandy Rhoad Stowe. “But what is the Fourth of July without fireworks?"

If the Fourth of July is about celebrating our country's independence and freedom, though, the most important thing is for communities to get together -- regardless of whether there are fireworks or not. Bases will still have some events, like games and parades. Maybe this is an opportunity for parents to talk with their kids about sacrifice and gratitude. I wouldn't be surprised if some civilian communities near bases try and fund fireworks displays of their own.

It's easy to say it's just not the Fourth of July without fireworks -- but that's not true. Nothing can take away what this holiday means to you. Not even budget cuts. 

How do you feel about fireworks shows being cut from military base celebrations?


Image via Bayasaa/Flickr

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nonmember avatar Mae

Yet there's PLENTY of money for Obummer and Moochelle (and their hordes of hangers-on) to go on yet ANOTHER vacation. Much rather MY Tax dollars go to putting on a good show for those who actually DO something positive for this country, instead of another needless, much-too-expensive vacation for those people.

LadyM... LadyMinni

When I was at Fort Drum for the 4th a few years ago they were thinking of not allowing fireworks on post at all. There was almost no protest because they had a good reason: PTSD. The sound of fireworks exploding is similar to that of actual explosives exploding, and that can trigger flashbacks.

I think this is probably a good thing, even if the reason it's happening makes me want to punch people. Don't have fireworks on post, those who want to see them can go into town. Civilian communities near posts/bases ALWAYS have fireworks. They have to, it isn't like civilians can just waltz onto most posts to see their fireworks.

Harry Therien

As always, this most American of holidays will be marked by parades, fireworks and backyard barbecues across the country.

Sara Stockwell

Excuse me, but you think military families need to talk with their kids about sacrifice and gratitude because there are no fireworks?!? You don't think they LIVE lives of sacrifice and gratitude by having their parents deployed? BTW, this would be a much easier pill to swallow if Obama wasn't spending $100 million dollars on an African safaari. Don't lecture military families about having a 'teachable moment" with their kids about the true meaning of the 4th of July. Puh-lease.

Tammy Scholler Harlow

The govement has taken enough from our soldiers who put their lives on the line not only for the citizens of the USA but also for those selfish goverment officials. They still got their raise this year while expecting the military to take budget cuts! The fourth of July with fireworks is a right of all Americans and especially our soldiers!!!!!

lwalt313 lwalt313

Maybe Mr President should have cancelled yet another one of his vacations and THIS wouldn't be happening. But you his 100million trip to Africa is more important then our troops!

adopt... adoption2013

I'm Canadian and I'm shocked by the expensive getaways your president takes at your expense.  There is a lovely retreat--if he doesn't want to use Camp David then he should pay for his own vacation.  I'm so sorry about your celebrations.  I also pray that we all come out of the recession soon.  Happy Independence Day.

Regina Bushby Jamieson

PTSD is a much better reason not to allow fireworks anywhere.

And they scar animals!

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