In some nostalgic or perhaps melancholy way, the celebrations we have presently on the Fourth of July do not seem as grand as they were (the good, old days?) when we were kids. We waited, quite impatiently, all day for darkness, by playing baseball in the yard, or swimming. The day was long, and our patience was short, like Danny DeVito.
These were special times, special memories for us. Little did we know how much we would appreciate these little events. I tried to impart some of this to my kids, with mixed success. But the four in my family, along with my Sanger cousins enjoyed this day to the max!
We had a large box of fireworks to enjoy, each of us kids, along with my cousins from Sanger. We gathered on our front lawn to watch the skyline fireworks being set off in town. The barbecue dinner was almost an afterthought. We waited, and waited. It might have been better than Christmas! We even traded fireworks with each other, hoping for a one-sided transaction with the younger siblings and cousins!
When the hour finally arrived, and we got the approval of our parents, we set off an hour of grand pyrotechnics. In our minds, it exceeded the Capitol Fourth in DC or the grandest of fireworks shows across the country. This was our own little celebration. And we thought it was simply grand!
Of course, we were oblivious to the terror we inflicted on our dogs and cats. Today, we barely tolerate the 4th of July, because of what it does to our animals. Back then, if we forgot to tie them up, or put them inside, they would run and hide until the next day. Sad. We have to medicate Lexi for the entire weekend!
And now, during the shelter in place, social distancing, and increasing cases of Covid, I question the wisdom of even holding family Fourth gatherings. Many of the cities who sponsor grand fireworks has cancelled as well. And why they allow the sale of the pyrotechnics during this pandemic is beyond my comprehension. One word, much like MLB, and the NBA: GREED!
It must have been a moment of rather serious reflection for our parents, grandparents, Aunts and Uncles. They lost their freedom, after Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Shortly after, they were all sent to “Relocation” camps in the Arizona desert or the Arkansas swamp. Freedom was just another word (for nothing left to lose), as were their stripped away constitutional rights, like the Bill of Rights. Thank you, Bobby McGee!
I shed a tear now for what they endured. The Fourth of July no longer means fireworks and family fun. It means that the freedoms and rights that we have as Americans, can be taken away, at the whim of a government dominated by fear mongers, anti-Japanese citizenry, and right-wing moralists.
I will sit back and watch the Capitol Fourth on PBS. But my mind will be on the freedom we may or may not have much longer. Why are we even going down this path?
Where do you think all of this will lead? I hope to better days.
Final note from CNN:
When it comes to fireworks safety, parents may warn kids to avoid getting too close.
What families may not realize, however, is that there are other health risks associated with setting off fireworks. In fact, some American consumer fireworks release toxins that are harmful for both humans and animals, according to a new study in the journal Particle and Fibre Toxicology on Wednesday.
The study analyzed 12 different retail fireworks and found that once set off, five of them released particle emissions that could damage human cells and animal lungs.
Please be careful!!!!!