This is only one of the smaller, most minor examples of how the recent unparalleled theft of Americans' wealth, under the guise of the Global Financial Crisis, is tearing away at the fabric and the traditions of the American people. It should be no big deal for such an event to be cancelled, when towns and states don't have the resources to pay for it, but it still sounds just so terribly, terribly sad :
As the economic crisis has dragged on, city leaders around the country say fireworks are a luxury they can no longer afford. Big and small, urban and rural, the skies will remain dark over at least four dozen communities nationwide come July 4.Not this year. Some cities are cancelling the July 4 fireworks so have a bit more money to give to the food banks and charities feeding the rapidly rising ranks of the unemployed :
"It came down to this: Did we want to spend $150,000 on something that would be over in a few hours?" Cervenik said. "Or did we want to use that money to keep city workers employed?"
The news has sparked outrage and protests among residents who long to preserve an American tradition that dates to 1777. They say that fireworks displays are more than a nod to nostalgia: They allow communities to come together, set aside their woes and build up town pride -- even if only for a few hours.
"Good times, bad times, there's always been fireworks," said Robert Baker, who heads the Fourth of July festival committee in Abington, Mass.
Some cities would rather feed their residents than entertain them. In the Los Angeles suburb of Montebello, where unemployment hovers at 12%, the City Council unanimously voted to use its $39,000 fireworks budget on donations to local food banks.Christmas decorations and town square Christmas trees will join July 4 fireworks for dozens of cities and towns across the United States this year.
"The last food bank line I saw had more than 1,000 people in it," said Mayor Rosemarie Vasquez. "We figured that, instead of burning the money in the air, why not give it to people who need it."