Now that the Fourth of July has passed us by for this year, we can view from another prospective the fireworks and excitement of this semi-holiday. It has become another excuse to make noise. And sometimes making noise is good.
Making noise is a part of Mardi Gras in New Orleans in the spring. Making noise is part of New Year’s Eve celebration across the globe at year’s end. And making noise has become part of the family and friends contribution at the High School graduation of many a young teenager who somehow made it through 12 years in our school systems.
But the kind of noise and downright disrespectful popping, cracking and bombing that has taken place for some time now in neighborhoods across America has reached a level that must be curbed or simply stopped altogether.
Before this country entered into 12 years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan where more than 3400 American soldiers-men and women-have been killed and over 35,000 have been wounded and maimed for life, the “bombs bursting in the air” was just another line in a song best sung at the start of the Super Bowl. These bombs bursting in the air on neighborhood street corners and backyards auger no perspective on the real thing that has happened, and at this writing, is still happening in the War Zones that still exists around Khandahar and the Taliban hideouts in the Tora Bora Mountains.
Sounds foreign and far away don’t they? Well, for the veteran who has been there, served there, was wounded there and lost a comrade there, these are not mythical places. This is not a movie set that can be taken down and moved to another location. These are real places with real death. Places where, even if the bombs stop bursting for a moment, the piercing, random rifle fire from the enemy rivals anything the gang gun fire in Chicago these days can imagine.
It’s just that it gets to be an insult to those who fought and continue to fight for peace at home to have this random, constant assault on the senses with play-play “firecrackers” interspersed with gun fire in American streets and neighborhoods like Jacksonville, Florida where among those doing it there is no sense of the history and the contemporary meaning of what they are doing.
There should be no public sale of fireworks. For the “public” has forgotten the meaning of what Francis Scott Key saw on the bow of that ship long ago. Until you have experienced the kind of constant bombardment that war brings, there is no appreciation of the utter silly and inconsiderate behavior that is shown by setting off fireworks, cherry bombs, flares and other “harmless” explosive devices in the name of “having a good time.”
Most young Americans and now many old ones have avoided serving in the military (and that is their right), but that opportunity brings with it the same debt of respect that should be afforded those persons who did and do still serve to ensure your right to a freedom and liberty that is only a dream in Iraq, Syria, Palestine, Sudan, and parts of Central Africa.
The Fourth of July celebrations held by cities and towns across the nation tend to still hold true to the meaning of this day. But the random, ridiculous setting off of bombs for fun and personal entertainment should be stopped. If one wants to see bombs bursting in your yard invite an ISIS Warrior over as an Exchange student and see how a real bomb bursts in the air.