Independence day, not independence month

Fireworks are my favorite.

Every year, I look to the illuminated sky with wide eyes, a clenched fist, and the wonder and amazement of an eight year old. I know I am not alone in this love.

I am far from anti-firework, but I am pro thoughtfulness and compassion.

Each year, people who enjoy fireworks as I do get a little over excited and begin letting them off from late June until well after the Fourth of July. They don’t mean harm, but their exuberance sometimes clouds their judgement. I’ve surely been there.

I appeal to each of you who might be thinking about letting off fireworks on days other than Independence Day, at all hours of multiple days to reconsider.

You are a patriot, and that is part of why this day excites you so much.

However, please consider the men and women who fought the Nazis, the communists, the terrorists, and others so we could enjoy our freedom and the many blessings this country continues to give us.

For many of them, unexpected explosions like fireworks trigger P.T.S.D. and trauma. It causes panic attacks, nausea, migraines, and other very serious side effects.

If you truly are a patriot who supports the troops and veterans, please show them your respect with your restraint.

If that is not enough, please consider our brave men and women that choose to be firefighters. They have enough danger and difficulty in their lives without having to deal with the extra calls that comes from the carelessness of others. Their summers keep getting harder and harder, please don’t add on to that.

Still not enough? In a country in which 80 percent of the population identify as Christians, there is a reasonable chance that you identify as a Christian. If so, please remember the most important words in the faith: “Love Thy Neighbor.”

Your neighbor may have P.T.S.D. caused by military service, or other traumatic events. They may have pets, they may have children. They may have to work early. There could be a whole host of reasons why excessive and ill timed fireworks may cause them harm and pain.

Freedom is a wonderful thing, but it also comes with responsibility. Thought our history, most people in this country have operated with the frame of mind which dictates that personal freedom ends where harm is caused to someone else. Please consider this unspoken agreement, and how you feel when it is violated against you.

By all means, celebrate the Fourth. Everyone who is affected is expecting it, and. can prepare.

Just please be a Patriot, Love your neighbor, and remember it is Independence Day, not Independence Month.

Follow the unfinished pyramid on twitter at @unfinishedpyr


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