updated 7/6/2005 11:15:15 AM ET 2005-07-06T15:15:15

Guest: Julia Renfro, Jason Crawford, Chelsea Cooley

JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST:  That‘s a magnificent fireworks over the Statue of Liberty, New York City‘s breathtaking way of saying happy birthday, America.  Welcome to this special edition of SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  No passport required; only common sense allowed.

ANNOUNCER:  This is a SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY special edition: “Happy Birthday America.”

SCARBOROUGH:  Welcome to the special Fourth of July edition of SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, live from Pensacola, Florida, the place where America began in 1559.  Now, the fireworks are getting set to start right behind me at the Fish House.  This is a place where locals, tourists, governors, senators, speakers, vice presidents, even presidents come by when they stop in town. 

But for the rest of the hour, we‘re going to be going from my hometown to yours, taking you on a trip across America, the greatest country on earth. 

Now this was the scene today.  The whole town of Pensacola came out for a parade.  We‘ll show it to you. 

You‘re looking at pictures right now of a parade in Pensacola, Florida, earlier this afternoon.  And I‘ll tell you what.  Obviously, as a politician, I always went there, but also it‘s a great place to take your kids, great place, obviously, to take your whole family. 

But you know what?  That wasn‘t just happening in small town America.  Also, everybody was celebrating the Fourth of July in Coney Island, New York, site of the world‘s first hotdog stand. 


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Three, two, one, begin!  Oh, my goodness!  We have waited a whole year for this, the eaters hunched over their plates now.  Takeru Kobayashi, can he beat his record?  No one knows.


SCARBOROUGH:  Of course, you know what?  Nothing, no Fourth of July would be complete without the world famous hotdog eating contest there.  And today they did it again.  One guy devoured 49 hotdogs in 12 minutes to win his fifth straight title. 

Very healthy.  Look at that guy. 

Wouldn‘t you be proud for her to be your mom?  Look at that. 

All right.  And let‘s go now from Coney Island, if we can.  Let‘s go to Washington, D.C., today.   Thousands of visitors, as always, pour into the nation‘s capital and they listened to the Beach Boys paying special tribute to America. 




SCARBOROUGH:  I‘ll tell you what.  If that ain‘t America, I don‘t know what is, the Beach Boys singing “California Girls.” 

Now we‘re going to be taking you, obviously, all across America.  Like I said, going to be taking you from the East Coast, going to be going to Philadelphia, all the way to the west coast and San Jose.  We‘re going to be coming back to my home town of Pensacola, Florida. 

The fireworks are about to start behind me.  And I‘m going to be asking a lot of people behind me what the Fourth of July and what America means to them. 

But first, I want to transition for a minute to another story that many Americans are thinking about and talking about tonight.  While our nation celebrates its 229th birthday, one fine Alabama family continues to hold out hope that their teenage daughter will come back to the states alive. 

But the news keeps getting worse for Natalee Holloway‘s family.  And today developments did little to ease their pain. 

With the very latest, let‘s go now to NBC‘s Martin Savidge.  He‘s live in Aruba.  Martin, give us the very latest. 


Well, you‘re right.  It was a very difficult day for the Holloway family, as the judge has ordered two of the three suspects set free. 

The two suspects set free were, of course, the two brothers that are from Surinam.  That is Satish and Deepak.  And both of them had been held as long as the 17-year-old, Joran Van Der Sloot, had been held. 

The thing is, though, that the judge didn‘t give a clear explanation.  He actually gave no explanation why he decided to let the two brothers go and why he decided to keep the 17-year-old for another 60 days. 

On the surface you would have to presume it‘s because the case has more evidence against the 17-year-old and not very much against the two brothers. 

Now, it‘s possible that this decision could be appealed by both the prosecution, and it could also be appealed by Joran Van Der Sloot, or at least his attorney, asking that he be set free. 

But for the family of these two young men that were let go, clearly, it‘s a happy day.  They feel that they were vindicated, that they were innocent all along, and now the judge has proven that.  Their attorney spoke, even though the two young men did not.  This is that attorney, Rudy Oomen.


RUDY OOMEN, ATTORNEY FOR DEEPAK KALPOE:  They looked very good.  They are very happy with the decision of the judge.  And they hope to be left alone also awhile.  They are obviously trying to cope with a new situation to, you know, reunite with the family.  And they hope that you guys also respect their privacy. 


SAVIDGE:  One family‘s joy is another family‘s pain.  The Holloway family has not had any comment as a result of the release this afternoon of these two suspects. 

It has always been the firm belief of Beth Twitty, who is Natalee Holloway‘s mom, that all three of these suspects know exactly what happened to her daughter and where her daughter may be at this particular time.  And so clearly, it is upsetting to her to see any of those suspects set free. 

As to the search effort, it is still ongoing.  And in fact, on that end, the Dutch government has contributed three F-16 fighter aircraft.  They arrived on the island of Curacao today.  Wednesday, they will actually be part of the search.  They reportedly have sophisticated sonar and cameras on board that will aid in the search effort. 

Let me bring in now Julia Renfro.  She is with the newspaper “Aruba Today.”

Thanks very much for being with us.  Let me ask you, did this surprise you, the way the outcome came?

JULIA RENFRO, REPORTER, “ARUBA TODAY”:  Well, actually, we kind of had a good idea that they didn‘t have very much evidence, physical evidence against either of the brothers. 

SAVIDGE:  I think there is real concern now that, maybe, 60 days from here the same thing is going to happen, only this time with Joran Van Der Sloot and now no one is in custody. 

RENFRO:  Well, unfortunately, that is a possibility, because the prosecutor, although he would—she would like to see all three of them arrested or at least in custody, there is a possibility that a judge who is flown in from another island, could release Joran as well. 

SAVIDGE:  And what would that mean?  I mean, for this island?  There would be no one in custody.  There‘d be no real explanation as what happened to Natalee Holloway and no young woman. 

RENFRO:  Well, we hope that the Texas search team, as well as the police, the FBI and now the Dutch coming in to help, as well, maybe we can come to a conclusion.  Maybe we can find out where Natalee is or at least what happened to her. 

SAVIDGE:  One of the things we talked about is we know that this has not had a negative impact on tourism.  But what about the people of Aruba?  I mean, after all, they‘ve always been known for being welcoming, being friendly.  Now they‘re looked upon in some respects by the United States as almost sinister as a result of all of this. 

RENFRO:  Well, unfortunately, that‘s true.  People who have never been here before are a little concerned about the judicial system and how the Aruban people really truly are.  And you know, it‘s unfortunate, but I think the truth will prevail and people will eventually learn and understand that the Aruban people are friendly. 

SAVIDGE:  And what‘s going to happen, say, within the next month or two months in this case, do you think?

RENFRO:  Well, a lot of people are in pain.  Of course, the Holloways and the Twitties are in pain that Aruba is truly feeling.  And the pain is felt here from the old to the young, because everybody wants to find Natalee, or at least find out what happened to Natalee. 

SAVIDGE:  Julia Renfro, thank you very much from Aruba today.

So Joe, unfortunately, very sad news for the family of Natalee Holloway.  And most of all, still no answers, which is amazing to believe five weeks exactly after that young woman disappeared. 

Back to you. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  Thanks a lot, Martin Savidge, as always.  Live from Aruba. 

We‘ve been following this story from, obviously, from the very beginning.  We‘re going to continue to do that and as always, our thoughts and prayers are with Natalee. 

Now right behind us, everybody is looking at some amazing fireworks that are going on.  If we could get a shot of that.  Yes.  There we go.  I‘ll tell you what: this is happening. 

The amazing thing is it‘s happening all across America and not only the Gulf Coast of Florida.  Also, the same scene is being replayed in literally thousands of communities across America, celebrating the Fourth of July. 

Let‘s go now out to San Jose and go to California, San Jose, California.  KNTV reporter Bob Redell.

Bob, tell me about the scene out there. 

BOB REDELL, REPORTER, KNTV:  Well, we‘re still pre-partying out here because it‘s only 7:15 at night, Joe.  So we‘ve got the music going.  Take a look at the crowd.  We‘re in a park, the center of Silicon Valley.  And they‘re expects somewhere in the neighborhood of 100,000, perhaps 150,000 people for the fireworks to go off in about two hours and 15 minutes. 

We‘ve got someone right here.  How are you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Fine.  How are you?

REDELL:  Good.  What‘s your name?


REDELL:  Diane, what are you doing in California?  You have a Braves shirt on? 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  It‘s just a shirt.  I‘m just here for the fireworks.

REDELL:  You felt like you had to come here and bear with the crowds and all that, just to see—instead of staying home and watching it on TV?


REDELL:  Yes.  What does it mean for you, being out here?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  It‘s nice.  I enjoy all the music and being out here with other people from San Jose and my friend over there, as well. 

REDELL:  Happy Fourth of July. 

And it‘s interesting, Joe, because if you‘re not from San Jose, it‘s about 50 miles south of San Francisco.  And there‘s somewhat, a little bit of a rivalry between the fireworks here and the fireworks in San Francisco.  San Francisco, of course, having the name but last year they were fogged out.  We don‘t get that down here. 

So this year we‘re going to actually have the clear weather and the question is how much fog or patchy clouds are going to get up there.  So you might see more people coming down here so they‘re guaranteed a sight in the sky.

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  Thanks so much, KNTV‘s Bob Redell, for getting us up to date with the very latest in San Jose. 

When we come back, more of our special edition of SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, “Happy Birthday, America.”


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  I believe that this century will be liberty century. 



SCARBOROUGH:  Our special edition of SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, “Happy Birthday America,” continues right after this short break. 




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Please raise your right hand and repeat after me.  I hereby declare on oath that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic. 


SCARBOROUGH:  And welcome back to a special edition of “SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.”  You‘re looking at some amazing images, as well.

This image behind me, everybody is here for the fireworks in America‘s first city, as we like to call it.  But that image you saw were some new Americans taking the oath of citizenship in Washington, D.C. 

I‘ve got to tell you something, friends.  I‘ve been there.  It is such a remarkable moment when new Americans raise their hand and they understand that they now are American citizens also.  It‘s just—just an unbelievable moment.  That really makes you love this country all the more. 

Also in America, elsewhere, we want to go right now to Forth Worth, Texas.  Down in Forth Worth they are celebrating, obviously, the Fourth of July, Texas style. 


SUSAN RISDON, KXAS-TV REPORTER:  More than 25,000 spectators are packed into the stockyards here in Fort Worth to celebrate the Fourth of July with Willie Nelson and his famous friends.  It‘s the 32nd annual Willie Fourth of July picnic. 

People of all ages brave the heat to hear the country legend.  Twenty-nine performers in all.  The crowd finds creative ways to cool off in the sweltering heat.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I wish we had a little more saved, but I usually carry my own around.  So it doesn‘t matter.  But I feel sorry for everybody else.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  It feels great.  It feels like an Indian sweat house.  You‘ve got to sweat out those toxins. 

RISDON:  Willie says a patriotic party and great music is the only way to celebrate freedom. 

WILLIE NELSON, MUSICIAN:  I love music, first of all.  I play it and I enjoy doing it.  And I enjoy playing for other people.  But I also know the power that music has is that it crosses all the boundaries, and it goes right to the soul of whoever is listening to it. 

RISDON:  This huge crowd is anxiously awaiting the performances of some other big names like Bob Dylan, The Doobie Brothers, and Los Lonely Boys.  They‘re set to take the stage later this evening.  And then, of course, fireworks. 

Fort Worth, Susanne Risdon for SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.


SCARBOROUGH:  Thanks a lot, Susan Risdon.  Greatly appreciated from KXAS NBC.  A brief look how America is celebrating its independence in Forth Worth. 

But I‘ll tell you what, some people are not celebrating tonight in Idaho.  This weekend, a break in a story we have been following, as has America, the search for two Idaho children who have been missing for more than six weeks. 

On Saturday 8-year-old Shasta Groene was recognized by a waitress at an Idaho Denny‘s restaurant.  She was there with a registered sex offender.  But of course there‘s no sign of her 9-year-old brother, Dylan.

Today law enforcement, searching for Dylan, found some human remains in western Montana.  For the very latest, here‘s NBC‘s Michael Okwu in Idaho. 

MICHAEL OKWU, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT:  Joe, some 40 investigators have been following leads throughout this holiday weekend, and they‘ve been warning the public for days now that they believe 9-year-old Dylan Groene is dead.  Today, they announced a significant discovery. 


SHERIFF ROCKY WATSON, KOOTENAI COUNTY, IDAHO:  During the search of one of the possible locations in western Montana, investigators have located what they believe to be human remains. 


OKWU:  Officials say the remains are being sent to the FBI crime lab in Quantico and they expect to get DNA results within the next 72 hours.

So why is western Montana significant?  Well, police say that after they displayed this image of a 2005 red Jeep Laredo, which they say was stolen by the accused kidnapper in this case, Joseph Duncan, they received about 100 tips from residents, leading them to believe that the children were abducted and then transported by Duncan through northern Idaho and western Montana. 

Duncan, by the way, has not been talking to investigators.  He has invoked his privilege to not speak without an attorney.  But we do understand that he will be appearing in open court tomorrow afternoon. 

In the meantime, the children‘s father, Steven Groene, was seen outside the hospital where Shasta was recuperating, being consoled by friends.  Today he released photographs of Shasta, who was reunited with her remaining family after she was spotted and then freed from her accused kidnapper very early on Saturday. 

It has been a surreal July Fourth weekend here in Coeur D‘Alene.  Earlier today, residents were planning for a parade.  There was absolute elation, particularly after Shasta was freed.  And now today some of those very same residents are mourning—Joe. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Thanks, a lot Michael Okwu.  Obviously, a very, very sad story and one that we‘ll be follow, obviously, throughout the week.

Now getting back to Fourth of July celebrations.  Let‘s go up to Nashville, Tennessee.  Got a live shot of Nashville right now, obviously, like Pensacola, also the Central Time zone.  They‘re having fireworks up there also.  An amazing shot of Music City USA. 

Nashville obviously knows how to put on a show, whether it‘s the Grand Ole Opry or a fireworks display.  But this is the Nashville fireworks display, complete with orchestra, long considered one of the better fireworks displays in all of America.  What an amazing shot.  What an amazing shot.

Now let‘s come back to down Pensacola, Florida.  We may not have an orchestra, but we also have a darn good fireworks display.  We‘re about halfway through it right now, but I want to talk to some of the people behind me here. 

What‘s your name?


SCARBOROUGH:  Eden (ph), tell, me, what does Fourth of July mean to you, other than you have to work long hours?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  That‘s true.  No.  Fourth of July means to me, like, it‘s when all my family gets together, and we celebrate and we go on the boat and have fun.  And that‘s pretty much what the Fourth of July means to me. 

SCARBOROUGH:  That‘s a Florida Fourth of July.  What‘s your name?


SCARBOROUGH:  Whitney, were do you work, Whitney?  I‘ve got to ask the question.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I‘m a hostess at Fish House restaurant. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes, good luck.  Tell me about Fourth of July with you.  I mean, does everybody here have, like, a Florida Fourth of July, where you spend your time out on a boat?  Am I the only person here that doesn‘t own a boat?


SCARBOROUGH:  Man of the people, man of the people.  So tell me about your Fourth of July. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  My Fourth of July I do a tradition.  I come here and watch fireworks here at Fish House.  It‘s such a beautiful view, and for me, it‘s just to celebrate, you know, the rights and freedoms that so many people put their lives on the line for for today. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Where do you go to school?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I go to Florida State University. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Florida State.  Let‘s get somebody who goes—where do you go to school, Miss?  You go to Florida State also?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  No.  I go to school in California. 

SCARBOROUGH:  OK.  Probably not in college yet either, are you? 


SCARBOROUGH:  What‘s your name?


SCARBOROUGH:  Madison.  Are you old enough to figure out what Fourth of July means to you?  Or is it just a day to hang out with the family?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  To me, Fourth of July means to celebrate our independence of our country from—to learn about our rights and our abilities to have freedoms that other countries won‘t. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  Well, very good. 

And what‘s your name?


SCARBOROUGH:  Natalie, how do you celebrate the Fourth?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Coming here, and looking at the fireworks and hanging out with all my friends. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes, that‘s what it‘s all about.

All right.  Well, I‘ll tell you what.  We‘re going to continue here in Pensacola, Florida.  We‘re also going to be taking you all across the country.  And also finding out what‘s happening again in California and Texas and parts east and west. 

We‘ll be right back with this special edition of SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  Next, we‘re going to be talking to a local war hero just back from Iraq, and he‘s going to tell us what America means to him and also going to be looking at other ways people are celebrating this Fourth of July. 


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I‘m (UNINTELLIGIBLE), Mississippi.  I‘d like to wish a happy Fourth of July to my mom and dad and my little daughter Tyler.  I love you guys.  I miss you. 



JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST:  Hey, welcome back. 

You are looking at live shots again, Nashville, Tennessee, where they‘re putting on an incredible display.  The sounds you hear behind me, Pensacola, Florida.  It‘s remarkable. 

Happy birthday, America as our “Scarborough Country” special edition continues live from Pensacola, Florida. 

We‘ll be right back.  But first, here‘s the latest news.

MILISSA REHBERGER, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT:  MSNBC keeps you up to the minute every 15 minutes.  I‘m Milissa Rehberger.

Here is the latest.

The Associated Press is reporting an earthquake striking Indonesia‘s Sumatra Island.  It measured 6.8.  No reports of any damage yet.  This is the same area that was devastated by a tsunami just over six months ago.

The U.S. military and Pentagon officials confirm that the bodies of two Navy SEALs in Afghanistan have been found.  They were part of a team reported missing last week.

Iran‘s ultraconservative president-elect dismisses allegations of his involvement in the 1979 hostage taking at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran.  Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called the accusation baseless.

President Bush spent part of his Independence Day in West Virginia asking Americans to support U.S. troops.  He heads to Scotland tomorrow for the G-8 Summit.

And scientists continue to pore over photos shot by the Deep Impact space probe as it smashed into a comet the size of Manhattan overnight.  They‘re hoping to uncover answers about the birth of our solar system.

That‘s it for now.  Back to “Scarborough Country.”

SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, welcome back to the show. 

You‘re looking right now at American troops getting some well deserved R&R.  Also, they‘re jumping in Saddam Hussein‘s swimming pool.  For two years now, America‘s soldiers have been fighting Saddam‘s henchmen, also, obviously, al Qaeda‘s terrorists and brutal elements.  And here they are, this is where they‘re hanging out.  That‘s Saddam Hussein‘s old swimming pool.  And I‘ll tell you what, a little bit of R&R for a group of guys and women that haven‘t had it in a while.

I want to talk now to somebody that was actually over there and who also swam in Saddam Hussein‘s swimming pool, Jason Crawford, great to have you here with us tonight in Pensacola.


SCARBOROUGH:  You told me, as you were looking at that video, that you spent Fourth of July doing the same thing a couple of years ago.  You served over in Iraq for almost a year from Pensacola.  Tell me what happened when you got shot on a raid right before Christmas.

CRAWFORD:  Well it was a raid the night of the 23rd of December and it was about 9:30 at night.  We raided two homes there in Iraq in Baghdad.

SCARBOROUGH:  And you got hit.

CRAWFORD:  We got hit, yes.  There was a couple of us that got hit that night.  I took a shot to the face.

SCARBOROUGH:  And you brought the bullet.  Show them the bullet.  That‘s amazing.  That was—where was that lodged?  Hold it up.  Yes.

CRAWFORD:  It was actually lodged here in my nose, right underneath my nose in my upper jaw, actually.

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes, it‘s remarkable.  And other guys in your unit also got hit?

CRAWFORD:  Yes, sir.  Sgt. Dustin Solar (ph) actually got hit that night as well.  And the raid was deemed successful, but we took some injuries for sure.

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes.  Tell me about morale.  Obviously when something like that happens, it changes your life.  You were just telling me the fireworks display behind you makes you a little jumpy, to say the least.  But how is morale over in Iraq with your buddies that are still there?

CRAWFORD:  I think morale is probably just as high as it was when we were there.  We were one of the first pushes in, one of the first soldiers that were there, so I think we had a lot of motivation to be there.  Now with us trying to sustain, I think it‘s harder for troops now to sustain that morale and keep happy and keep motivated to be over there.

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes, talk about—we‘re going to show some shots of our brave men and women fighting over there.  Talk about now.  Talk about the courage, the character that they show every day, day in and day out.

CRAWFORD:  Well it does take every day when you‘re over there.  You can‘t be complacent and you can‘t let your guard down.  We were the Florida National Guard unit here from the 53rd Infantry Brigade.  As we went into Baghdad, and it‘s really a situation where every night and day you have to stay on top of your game.  You can‘t let your sights off of the end target.  So it‘s important that all of our—not only the press, but also just our society over here back in the States, support our troops every day, because they are, you know, just battling every day over there.

SCARBOROUGH:  I hear from a lot of guys over there that—the ones that e-mail me—that they don‘t think they‘re getting a fair break in the press.  Is that discouraging?

CRAWFORD:  It is discouraging and it‘s very true.  We had live feed over there of the press and of the media and it is just discouraging to know that we don‘t...

SCARBOROUGH:  By the way, I‘ve got to say this, we‘re not being attacked, Jason, but behind us an amazing fireworks display.  Let‘s go to that right now for a second.  I mean that really is, it‘s remarkable shots back there.  And there we go. 


CRAWFORD:  It makes my heart race, because, you know, when you hear those things nowadays, and I talk to my fellow friends that are home now, when we watch this, it‘s hard to hear that.  Yes.

SCARBOROUGH:  Isn‘t it amazing, everybody sitting here, they‘re clapping, it means the same thing to them as it‘s always meant, but it will never mean the same thing to you again.  Not...

CRAWFORD:  I‘m shaking.

SCARBOROUGH:  You‘re shaking now because you hear...


SCARBOROUGH:  ... those explosions and you think back. 

Let me ask you something, the troops, the men and women, when they wake up in the morning, they go on the type of raids that you went on.  Do you wake up thinking I may not live to see another day?  Does that go through your mind or are you able to keep it cut out?

CRAWFORD:  For me it happened early when we first got there.  But I think you have to develop a sense of—you know if a bullet is going to hit me, if it has my name on it and there‘s nothing I can do about it and you just go on and do your mission every day.

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes, and so, obviously, that‘s how they get up, they don‘t think about it.  And if you do start thinking about it, that‘s where the real problems start.

CRAWFORD:  Yes, the handwritten letters from home and the prayers from all of our fellow Americans, that‘s what keep you going every day.

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  Thanks so much, Jason.

CRAWFORD:  Thank you.

SCARBOROUGH:  I greatly appreciate you being here.  And God bless you for your service to this country.

CRAWFORD:  Thank you.

SCARBOROUGH:  Now while a lot of people in New York and Washington have busied themselves attacking what‘s been going on in Guantanamo Bay.  And of course I‘m talking about the senator that compared our troops to Nazis and Soviets and members of the Khmer Rouge, and also, of course, don‘t forget Amnesty International. 

The reigning Miss USA, Chelsea Cooley, did something truly radical, she went down to Cuba to thank our troops for their service, not only for America, but for the world.  And she‘s with us right now.

Miss USA, thank you so much for being with us.  Tell us, first of all, why did you go down to Gitmo?

CHELSEA COOLEY, MISS USA, VISITED GITMO:  Well first I just want to say happy Fourth of July.  It seems like you‘re having a great time in Florida.

SCARBOROUGH:  Happy Fourth of July.

COOLEY:  But I was in Gitmo representing the USO and doing an autograph session and got to spend a lot of time with the troops and their families and was able to bring a little bit of, you know, a sense of home to them while they‘re doing their job over there.  So it was a really fun time, and it‘s an experience that I‘ll remember forever.

SCARBOROUGH:  Well you know this is probably the wrong thing to ask a Miss USA, because when you were there morale was probably a little higher.  But how was morale with the troops as you were walking away and turning around and checking them out, were they doing OK?

COOLEY:  You know they are so appreciative of us being there.  And you know, in return, I‘m so appreciative just for the work that they do.  And so for me it was an amazing experience to actually spend time with them, to have lunch with them, to take a picture with any of them, anything that I could do to boost their day and to put a smile on their face because they definitely do it for me.  So the morale was good.  It was nice.

SCARBOROUGH:  Chelsea, did you hear anybody complaining down there, talking about how they either were tired of dealing with some of these hardened terrorists or tired of the knocks they were taking in the press or the accusations aimed towards a few that may have been staining their entire reputation?

COOLEY:  You know not at all.  I mean and that wasn‘t really our focus while we were there.  I mean I was there as a representative of the USO for this autograph tour.  So you know we really didn‘t talk about anything like that.  I was just there...


COOLEY:  ... to see how their day was going, where they were from, you know what they do normally when they‘re in the States and just to have light-hearted conversations to take their minds off of everything else.

SCARBOROUGH:  Well that‘s great.  Chelsea Cooley, we greatly appreciate you being with us.  Appreciate you going down there and certainly lightening up their day.

COOLEY:  Well thank you.  I‘ll do it anytime.

SCARBOROUGH:  Appreciate it.  Thank you.  Keep up the great work.

COOLEY:  Thank you so much.

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, let‘s go now to New York and we want to go to Andrew Siff in New York.

Andrew, tell us what‘s been going on in New York City.  We understand the fireworks display, one of their largest ever, perhaps the largest in America.  What‘s up?

ANDREW SIFF, WNBC-TV, NEW YORK:  Well, Joe, they do say it was the second largest ever.  The reason it wasn‘t the largest ever, the millennium celebration actually had 11 barges ringing the island of Manhattan.  Tonight it was seven barges, which, for the Fourth of July, is a record.  There were four on the East River, two by the South Street Seaport and one by the Statue of Liberty.  In all, 36,000 explosions.  It certainly impressed the spectators here filling the sky. 

This was the 29th year that Macy‘s has staged the fireworks extravaganza here all in celebration of the nation‘s 229th birthday.  It all kicked off around 9:20 p.m.  The fireworks lasted about a half an hour.  And, as usual, a spectacular conclusion to all of it with a finale that lasted a good 8 to 10 minutes, very loud, very visual, very vivid.  They even had what they call lemon bars as part of the display this year.  We don‘t know exactly what that meant, but you could see a lot of yellow fireworks in the sky. 

And most of the people we talked to said what looked different this year, because of the fourth barge on the East River, just looked like it filled the entire sky from the Brooklyn Bridge to the Queensborough Bridge, so impressive indeed.

SCARBOROUGH:  Well I‘ll tell you what, Andrew, thank you so much.  We greatly appreciate that report. 

Andrew Siff of WNBC-TV talking about the remarkable, remarkable display of fireworks that were going on there.

And of course they‘re going on all over America tonight.  They just ended behind us here in Pensacola, Florida.  Again, went on for about 30, 40 minutes, as it does all the time.

And you know as far back as I can remember, I mean this is where I came.  This is where my family came, come down and you come to the waterfront and watch the fireworks go off.  And when we lived, of course I lived in upstate New York, same thing there.  I mean this happens over and over again all across America, and it‘s happening tonight.

Now let‘s move to the Heart of America and the Land of Lincoln, Ronald Reagan and the Chicago Cubs.  We‘re going to go to live shots of fireworks over America‘s second city.  This is live from Chicago, a place that has obviously shown that the greatness of America is reenergized time and time again by immigrants from across the world.

As you know, Chicago is a great melting pot that‘s long been a home to people of different nationalities who may have called each other enemies in the old country.  But in Chicago, they simply call each other neighbor.

Let‘s take that shot live right now and see what‘s going on in Chicago, Illinois.

All right, we‘ll be right back with our special edition of “Scarborough Country” live from Pensacola right after this.  “Scarborough Country” you know, friends, it extends all the way to Hawaii, and we‘ll be going there, too, in just a minute.

SHARON CHEN (ph), MSNBC CORRESPONDENT:  Out here at Schofield Barracks, Honolulu, Hawaii, the training field has been transformed into a day of food, family and fun.  This is the Fourth of July spectacular.  It‘s an event dedicated to soldiers and their families so they can spend some quality time together.  You‘ll find everything out here from Hawaii‘s favorite foods to games, rides, you name it, you‘ll find it out here.  It‘s a day to support our troops and one more way to say thanks for a job well done.

For “Scarborough Country,” I‘m Sharon Chen reporting from Schofield Barracks.


REHBERGER:  MSNBC keeps you up to the minute every 15 minutes.  Hi, everyone, I‘m Milissa Rehberger.  Here is the latest.

Two Seramize (ph) brothers were released from custody today in Aruba in connection with the disappearance of Natalee Holloway.  A judge ordered a third suspect in the case to be held for an additional 60 days.  All three of them in custody since June 9 and have admitted that they were with the Alabama teenager on the night that she went missing.

Idaho authorities are refusing to speculate whether remains found in Montana may be those of 9-year-old Dylan Groene.  The FBI is currently analyzing those remains.  Results are expected in about three days.  Dylan‘s 8-year-old sister, Shasta, was found Saturday with a registered sex offender.

That‘s all for now.  Let‘s go back to “Scarborough Country.”


SCARBOROUGH:  That is Mariah Carey belting it out tonight in New York.

Like to welcome you back to the special Fourth of July edition of “Scarborough Country.” 

This is a look at St. Louis, Missouri.  Again, like Pensacola, Central Time Zone, putting on a remarkable display in the gateway to the west.  And I‘m told by my executive producer, Matt Saul (ph), that St. Louis is the birthplace, write this down friends, of the ice cream cone.  Invented 101 years ago.  More useless information given to you by “Scarborough Country,” but remarkable, remarkable fireworks going on out there right now.  Let‘s look at them.

All right, now let‘s move on from St. Louis and go around the country.  Take a look at some of the best fireworks celebrations across America.



SCARBOROUGH:  Boy, I‘ll tell you what, amazing fireworks.  Again, there‘s a shot in Nashville.  Also, yes, there is St. Louis.  We had a great shot in Pittsburgh going up Three Rivers. 

I‘ll tell you, we‘ll be right back.  We‘re going to have a lot more of this special edition of “Scarborough Country,” Happy birthday, America, live from the Fish House in Pensacola, Florida.


SCARBOROUGH:  Happy birthday, America.  We‘ll be right back with more “Scarborough Country” live in Pensacola, Florida.  Actually, did you know it‘s the place where America began in 1559?  We‘ll be right back in a second.


SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, welcome back to the special edition of “Scarborough Country.”  Happy birthday, America.

We‘re going back out to St. Louis, Missouri, where the fireworks are still going on.  That‘s what they say on the east side of Missouri.  West side I hear it is Missouri.  But we‘re in Pensacola.  You‘re only supposed to pronounce it one way.

Welcome back to our special edition of “Scarborough Country.”

We‘ve had a great group here all night.  You‘ve learned how to wave the flag.  What is your name?

MATT LOPEZ (ph), SPECTATOR:  My name is Matt Lopez.

SCARBOROUGH:  Matt, tell me about the Fourth of July?  What does it mean to you?

LOPEZ:  Joe, it is patriotism with a capital P.  It‘s the guys and women overseas that are fighting for us right now on the war in terror.  It‘s people right here that are waving the flag.  It‘s patriotism with a capital P.

SCARBOROUGH:  God bless you.  I appreciate you being here. 

And come on in, Jim.  We‘ve been at the fabulous Fish House.  Now I understand Matt tells me he had this dish.  I mean it‘s like an emerald thing.  What is this thing called?

JIM, FISH HOUSE:  This is Gritsy Yaw-Yaw (ph).  Smoked bit of cheese grits, a saute of portobello mushrooms, spinach, shallots, garlic, spiced shrimp over the top.  This is my dish.

SCARBOROUGH:  And, Matt, that put you in the hospital for a couple of weeks, is that right?  No, it‘s great.  No, this stuff is great.  Look, I‘m going to prove how much I love it.  Look at this.  This is just absolutely great.  So anyway, no it really is, I promise.

Let‘s get one more person in here.  Well I‘ll tell you what, what‘s your name?  Give me your name real quick.

ADAMSON (ph):  Adamson. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, great to meet you.  We‘ll see you next year.

Listen, it‘s been great to have all of you here at “Scarborough Country.”  Obviously this is a special night for me, my family and so many families across America.  A place called America, the last great hope for a dying world.

We‘ll see you tomorrow night in “Scarborough Country.”




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