Yes, I like fireworks as much as anyone else, but…

…my parents’ house is right next to a small stadium where the township launches fireworks. The fireworks themselves were beautiful; even when the show slowed to one or two every so often, they lit up the sky with a certain grace. And it was a lot of fun to see families congregate and just be in awe.

However: there was no sense of solemnity during the whole occasion, except during the fireworks’ finale, when the only thing you could hear was the rapid shooting and exploding sound of a number of rockets. Having recorded music is pretty cheesy, and to have the majority of the show be Michael Jackson (how the hell is “Billy Jean” appropriate?) and movie soundtracks (they played Back to the Future, Star Wars & Superman. It was beyond pathetic) was a pretty poor way of marking all of our coming together for a few minutes.

I mean, there’s not one band or orchestra willing to play for about 15-20 minutes before the show and then maybe during the 15 minutes of fireworks? This isn’t possible at all? There’s no way for a few slightly extended remarks by an elected official or veteran or two to mark this day? It’s not just the nation’s birthday: as has been pointed out, the price of signing the Declaration of Independence, should the Revolutionary War fail, was death. And like many of you, I was scouring the Internet today for news from Iran (h/t Ario), Iraq, and of course Afghanistan. Fireworks only sound like gunfire: the applause after the show is a great blessing.

P.S. I also want champagne next July 4th, and NOT Martini & Rossi. I’m thinking Veuve Clicquot or Domaine Carneros.

3 Comments

  1. I have fond childhood memories of watching fireworks from the hood of the car, or a blanket on the grass surrounded by many neighbors and awestruck kids. Good feelings, but totally unconnected to a sense of patriotism. Last night we listened to country singers belt out 70s tunes while downing our chicken fingers at the mall’s outdoor cafe. At dark we sat on collapsable chairs in the parking lot & watched the finery. We were almost alone. The thousands of people that parked their cars were probably wandering around inside shopping. During the display, people – including kids – would walk by us headed for the mall without so much as looking up at the sky! We have become numb. Not only to patriotism, but to wonderment as well.

  2. I have really never had this issue. Several of my Independence day celebrations were during times I was outside the US. However, when I was home, we went to visit friends. A cookout, some fireworks, and friends are a great combination. There are too many loonies within the city for me to even take interest in the festivities.

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