I couldn’t wait for the Fourth of July this year. It is a Monday and that coincides with RRSB day and I knew exactly what to say. I was going to let all those people who think they know they’re way around the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and elections and the “noboby’s taking my rights away from me” crowd a thing or two. And then this weekend I read a letter to the editor and darned if it didn’t make all that seem as trivial as it really is.
Many Americans will be out tonight enjoying a fireworks display. Some of us will be in boats on rivers or lakes looking up at them, some will be on mountains and overlooks looking down at them, some will be in recliners watching them in living color on big screen TVs, and some in bleachers or on park lawns watching them across the way. And we’ll truly enjoy them.
At some point, we’ll make our ways home and many of the many will want to continue the celebration and will pull out our home stashes of fireworks, the kind made by the company the letter writer works for. And that’s where his letter comes in. If I may quote from it:
As the Independence Day holiday approaches, Phantom Fireworks would like to remind its customers, friends and all those who use consumer fireworks to be mindful of the fact that some veterans can be startled and upset by the noise of fireworks.
Chelsey Zoldan, a licensed clinical mental health counselor and special consultant to Phantom Fireworks, advises that there is the potential for some veterans to be reminded of combat situations when they hear the loud sounds of gunfire and fireworks. Combat veteran Henry Jiminez, on a broadcast news piece aired on KABB-TV in San Antonio, Texas, indicated he found the unexpected blasts to be the worst. … Zoldan indicated that unexpected fireworks booms can cause some veterans increased anxiety that could be difficult and challenging for them. …
The bottom line is that giving veterans a heads up that you will be lighting fireworks seems to be the most helpful. Vets aren’t necessarily scared of or by the noises but the unexpected can trigger unwanted symptoms and distress. Please show courtesy to those military veterans who served so your freedoms could be protected.
William Weimer Youngstown, Ohio
The writer is vice president of Phantom Fireworks.
From: The Tribune Review, Pittsburgh Edition, Trib Total Media, Inc., July 1, 2016 (A7).
(Read the whole letter here.)
So let the air be filled with the colors and sounds of these rockets of joy as reminders of the rights that we have to celebrate as we wish. But remember also how we got and keep those rights.
Happy Independence Day!
That’s what I think. Really. How ‘bout you?