It’s Independence Day! The 4th of July. Every year, from as far back as our collective memories can remember, families have celebrated the Birth of our Nation in many ways; parades, picnics, camping trips, but mostly: fireworks. They are an integral part of our childhood memories. Dad, always in charge of lighting the “big stuff,” Brother running around setting off ground roses, tanks, and firecrackers. Mom and sister waving sparklers and holding roman candles. These are our collective memories, as Americans celebrating our Independence Day, throughout the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s. Only the food and music changed over the decades. The celebrations remained the same.
Until. Fireworks became demonized. Starting in the late 80’s, in some inner-city urban areas. Too dangerous. Too easy to mask other nefarious actions. Best to ban them, for “public safety”. Then, “Too dangerous” for the suburbs, with their cookie cutter homes, far too close to each other; the danger of fire was deemed too great. Then, rural country areas began defining fireworks as “too dangerous”; too much open dry land, and not enough fire crews. A couple of firework-started brush fires, and. No more fireworks in the country, for “public safety.” Now. “they” will clamor to shut down the one last bastion of “traditional” Independence Day Celebrations: The small towns. Not an urban area, where people are too closely packed in, or where the celebratory explosions might mask “other activities; not a completely rural area where services in case of emergency are too thin, but. A small town, where there is the last gasp of our collective childhood traditions still cling, gasping and terminally ill, to some semblance of “relevance.”
Hello. It’s the day after Independence Day. It’s been a good one. Mostly, the fireworks were set off according to the “rules”; not before noon, not after midnight. There were 1 or 2 “booms” after midnight as a few stubborn-minded people decided to push the envelope, but most did not. As well as a few that set off fireworks a day or so early. Again, most did not. There were no serious fires – we certainly would have heard of those! There were no serious injuries, again, those would have been the focus of a social media storm. However, even without those “tragedies, we will hear how horrible they are, how dangerous, and how terrible those people are who are interested in continuing our collective history of celebration.
I am here, standing up, to be counted on record as supporting our traditions, to be a voice of support and gratitude, to be living in one of the few places that still allow us to remember and relive a simpler time, when Love of Country was celebrated. We are constantly reminded just how terrible America is; it is refreshing and necessary to remember and celebrate how exceptional we are, also. Thank you.