Why Are So Many Military Bases Canceling Their Fourth Of July Fireworks This Year?
What is your favorite part of the Fourth of July? The hot dogs and hamburgers? The neighborhood block parties? The fact that you get a day off in the middle of week? For me—and for a lot of people, I would assume—the best part of the Fourth of July is the fireworks. After a day filled with cookouts, BBQs, and picnics, a good fireworks celebration really helps cap things off and reminds me of what Fourth is all about. It gives me a few minutes to think about America’s independence and what it means to me and gives all of the kids out there a chance to see a colorful lights display in the sky. But this year, those who are assigned with the duty of protecting our nation are not going to be able to see their own fireworks. And that’s a damn shame for a number of different reasons.
Due to budget cuts and forced furloughs, the military has canceled a number of fireworks displays that typically take place on military bases across the country. From Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base and Fort Bragg in North Carolina to the Marine Corps Logistics Base in Georgia and the Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey, many military bases are being forced to do away with their fireworks celebrations this year. Fireworks at those bases—and at other bases located around America—require additional overtime work for those in the military. And because the military is cutting back on hours for their employees already, that overtime is simply not in the budget. So there will be no fireworks displays at those bases that cannot afford it.
I understand the budgetary issues that are going on at these bases. And I understand that, at the end of the day, spending $25,000 (or more!) on fireworks is probably not the wisest way to spend money. But I hope that this is the first and only year that the military has to cut back on fireworks at their bases. After all, the fireworks are the best part of the Fourth of July for a lot of Americans and they give us all the opportunity to think about those serving in our military. So I hate to see that so many of those in the military will be without fireworks this year. And I hope that the necessary adjustments are made to make sure that they won’t be without fireworks in 2014. It just doesn’t seem right.