Government Turns Down Free Fireworks for Military Offer

Thursday, 04 Jul 2013 03:29 PM

By Marti Lotman

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A company's plea to be allowed to provide free July 4 fireworks for thousands of military families has been turned down.

Camp Lejeune’s annual extravaganza became a victim of the federal sequester, but then Zambelli Fireworks stepped in offering to provide the show at no cost.

But the offer from the Pennsylvania-based "First Family of Fireworks" was turned down, Pittsburgh's CBS affiliate reports.

The patriotic show would have catered to 47,000 serving miltary membets, veterans and their families, but the federal government said it would still be landed are other costs apart from the fireworks themselves.

"There’s a lot of costs to putting on a function like that. The funds just weren’t available. They said it couldn’t be done," George Zambelli said.

Veterans and military families see the cancellation as a slap in the face.

“We’re very disappointed. This is the Fourth of July we’re celebrating. You know our country, and we’re celebrating our military that sacrifices for us to live in a free country,” one local military family member said. "We’re celebrating our military that sacrifices for us to live in a free country."

And veteran Mark Bergman added, "We sacrifice everything, our time with our families. We dedicate ourselves to our jobs, and we do it better than anybody else in the world."

Firework displays at other bases, including Camp Lejeune's North Carolina neighbor Fort Bragg have also been canceled because of the sequester, Charlotte's WFAE radio reported.

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