Like all kids, my 12-year-old son has always looked forward to the explosive climax of Independence Day. Every year when it gets dark we go out in front of our house and join our neighbors in making a noisy celebration. But this year there was boredom and dejection.
It was so quiet. Usually on July 4th there are people out and about, there is the increasing crescendo of pops and swooshes presaging a thundering finale. But this year my neighborhood was desolate. Gone was the sense of a communal celebration, gone was that feeling that it's a summer night and we are all out having a good time.
My son voiced the opinion that it seemed wrong to make fireworks illegal when we are celebrating our independence. I think his point was that our heritage is brash and untamed. Is a quiet night in really the way to remind ourselves of our origins?
When it got dark we made the trek up to Ferndale. As we approached on the freeway my heart was warmed by the displays lighting up the horizon. It was like we were joining the party.
I know people have concerns: fireworks scare animals, they can be dangerous, they keep people up at night, etc. Still, can't we have this one night? It seems a bit grouchy to make a fuss over it.
The prohibition of fireworks was a bad idea. Next year let's join the rest of America and party properly on the 4th.