Tuesday, July 3, 2012


It used to be that the most common warnings concerning the Fourth of July dealt with drinking and driving.  I still remember the popular jingle from my teenage years, If you go forth with a fifth on the Fourth, you might not go forth on the fifth."  This year is different.  This year it's "Don't be stupid; skip the fireworks and target shooting."  They're both good advice.  I certainly hope we don't have any drunks or anyone else who is a bit careless setting off fireworks to celebrate the holiday. 

I enjoyed fireworks when I was a kid.  The city fathers put on a grand display every Fourth and people came from miles around to watch.  In recent years they've become so common place, it's hard to get excited about them as they commemorate everything from ball games to concerts and the neighborhood kids set them off just because they can. Last year they became a public nuisance as they burst in all their noisy, screeching brilliance for a whole month.  So far this year has been quieter for which I'm grateful. I'm not opposed to a well run fireworks display with safeguards in place, but I would prefer fireworks weren't set off in neighborhoods or near the dry fields and mountainsides.  I can do without the noise and even more important, we can all do without any more wild fires.

The Fourth isn't just about fireworks.  It's a day to fly the flag, remember those who made our country possible, those who gave their lives for it, and those who sacrificed years of their lives and long separations from their loved ones to ensure that our liberty continue.  It's a salute to the many Americans who make their way to the ballot box every election, those who interrupt their lives to serve on juries, those who kneel to thank God for this land, and to the everyday Americans who pay taxes, support those in need, and all those who value liberty.  This year too, it's a day to thank the fire fighters who are giving so much to save homes and lives. 

And let's not forget the Fourth is a traditional day for families to get together, break out the grill and the potato salad, eat ice cream, and strengthen family ties.  There are parades to watch, concerts, and patriotic speeches.  It's a birthday!  We should enjoy it, but with this year's super dry conditions, let's use some common sense too.

1 comment:

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