Prior to this week, Doad’s experience setting off fireworks was limited to one sparkler at a friend’s wedding. This Fourth of July has been a novel experience for him. I was disappointed to discover that we’d need to drive to Nevada to get tanks (and Doad would have loved tanks so much!), but we have a good assortment of sparklers, fountains, and ground blooms. This evening, there are kids across the street with sparklers, aerials going off to the north and south and west, and periodic booms from the Super Bowl. The air is filled with smoke.
Not the most environmentally conscious of holidays nor the safest, to be sure, but I think we need to be able to set off fireworks. They are part of our national identity. But they are also simply a fitting symbol of freedom and peace. There’s something wonderful about things that were originally weapons being repurposed for peaceful uses. Gunpowder and explosives, the bedrock of modern warfare, become a harmless form of entertainment, fun and frivolous. Let’s beat our swords into ploughshares, use our bombs to build fireworks, and celebrate.
Image actually of San Diego’s fireworks accident.