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Memorial Day traveling and an Independence Day with no fireworks

Elif Geris

An Independence Day without fireworks

When expenses are too high to celebrate

Flags are at half-staff today for Peace Officers Memorial Day, a new part of the annual Police Week. The spirit of memory is prevalent this month as Memorial Day is on the 28th, and people are moving around, despite the height of gasoline prices.

President Obama gave a proclamation in appreciation for America’s public safety officers. In his speech, Obama declared May 15 to be the designated Peace Officers Memorial Day.

While people are struggling through typical payments, not many people are changing their plans for Memorial Day weekend. According to The Wall Street Journal, only 47 percent said gasoline prices would affect their plans for Memorial Day, 9 percent will just resort to shorter distance getaways, four percent will utilize different forms of transportation and 34 percent will decrease spending in separate areas.

Rather than eliminating their trips altogether, families are traveling less. Compared to last year’s 19 percent traveling less than 150 miles, are the 21 percent this year. The Wall Street Journal reports that the average travel distance will result as 642 miles. The journal also identifies that the higher the household income, the more people are willing to travel. Those with an annual income of $50,000 or more compose 26 percent of travelers this Memorial Day. Those earning $100,000 a year will compose 36 percent of the day’s travelers.

“The overall domestic economic picture continues to improve slightly, however, American consumers faced a new challenge as steadily increasing ‘gas’ prices throughout the spring significantly squeezed many household budgets,” said Robert L. Darbelnet, AAA president and chief executive officer.

However, high expenses are not just affecting Memorial Day weekend plans. New Rochelle, N.Y., among many other cities, heads up the fund saving this Independence Day. The city is alleviating an expense of $75,000 by canceling all firework celebrations as well as cutting Memorial Day budgets and removing Thanksgiving Day festivities, saving another $60,000 in total.

“Communities will rally around their fireworks displays,” said Stephen Vitale, president of New Castle, Penn.-based Pyrotecnico. Vitale said that Pyrotecnico is not usually affected by recession.

Many cities are just eliminating any events not taking place on the official July 4 holiday.

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