Friday, July 2, 2010
Patriotism and Fireworks
I usually run the 5K Race in the morning and sometimes go to the parade after. The fly-over is pretty cool. I enjoy seeing the soldiers, veterans, and the high school marching bands that are cool enough to have bagpipes, but after that, the parade is pretty much just a giant commercial. Watching floats with advertising for all kinds of businesses, along with giant inflatable cartoon character balloons just doesn't do anything for me. If you are lucky, you might get a piece of candy thrown at you. Even my little kids get tired of sitting in the sun watching the parade. Big crowds with lots of strangers doesn't help the situation either. I can't believe some people camp out over night for it.
I don't mind fireworks, but I'm not going to waste my money on something that will be burned up and destroyed a day later unless it is something I can eat. I know some people who spend hundreds of dollars on their personal firework shows. Some of these people single handedly boost the Wyoming economy with their annual purchases. They are a big hit with the kids in my neighborhood. I usually just send my kids down the street to watch their fireworks, so I'm grateful for all the money they save me.
I assume we celebrate with fireworks as a reference to "the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air", but I think most people are just looking for an excuse to blow stuff up. I'm afraid I outgrew fireworks years ago, around the same time I got tired of video games. I think the final nail in the coffin was when we went to watch a big fireworks show a couple years ago. We arrived very early to get good seats, then had to wait forever until it was finally dark enough. We then saw about 20 minutes of fireworks and smoke before we got to experience the highlight of the night, which was sitting in a traffic jam for an hour and a half with thousands of other hot, and exhausted people. Yippee!
Since we live in a free country, I will respect the way people choose to celebrate their freedom, which for most people appears to be blowing stuff up. If we want to make fireworks more applicable to freedom, I suggest we not let adults use them unless they are a registered voter. Please don't take offense if you are a pyro. I hope you have a great time this weekend, and I just want you to know that I love my country and appreciate my freedom, even if I don't light anything but the barbecue grill over the weekend.