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McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst Joint Base Fireworks Display – Is it More Than Just a Show? [POLL]

flikr user bvalium
flikr user bvalium

The other day I wrote about the cancelation of the Fourth of July celebration at the MDL Joint Base due to the sequester; and asked if it were prudent or un-American.

Well, while there were some that decried the loss of the display, a few others thought the sentiment of it being un-American was a bit “over the top!”

According to this report:

The annual Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst Fourth of July celebration has been canceled due to budget cuts, base officials announced today.

The celebration, which features fireworks, children’s activities and food and beverages, will be canceled this year due to the Department of Defense’s recent announcement that most civilian employees, who help run the event, will be furloughed beginning in July, the announcement said.

Defense is among the federal agencies hit by the across-the-board budget cuts known as the sequester.

Nationally, a number activities such as military open houses, airshows, flyovers, orientation flights, and service aerial demonstration team performances by the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and the U.S. Army Golden Knights have been canceled due to fiscal constraints, the officials said.

In the past the event “provided the joint base with an opportunity to highlight the active-duty, reserve and guard service members of the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard who ensure total force integration by training, supporting and sustaining global contingency operations from the joint base,” the announcement said.

My take is really simple.

It’s largely symbolic. Having civilians take in a fireworks display at the Joint Base instills in them a certain sense of pride.

I know. You’re probably thinking that there have to be better ways of feeling pride other than a fireworks display.

Yet, to be in the environment of the Base; to see all that goes on there and allow civilians and their families to develop an appreciation for all the military has to offer is a unique opportunity that will be lost once the display is cancelled.

In my mind it’s like saying, “who needs to have this recruitment drive when we can spend the money elsewhere!”

Sounds “penny wise and dollar foolish” to me.

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