Justin Blowers

It’s the time of year where we celebrate the day that 13 colonies decided they had enough of Britain’s reign and declared independence.

It’s a day celebrated with fireworks, barbecues, music and fellowship, whether that just be with the family, the block or the community.

It’s during this day and really week of celebration that I challenge all of you to do three things: be kind, be courteous and be careful.

First, be kind. Be kind to the people who you see celebrating and to those you don’t. Not everyone has the money to celebrate the same way. Just because someone can only afford a flag and hotdogs does not mean they are less American than the person who can buy a 20-shot “condition critical” for a celebration.

I’ve actually been cursed out before for “not celebrating American enough.” Please take into account people’s lives and don’t be mean to them just because their celebration isn’t up to your standards.

Second, be courteous. This has a lot to it. To those people who are celebrating with fireworks and loud music and having a party, be courteous to those around you.

If you have a veteran in your neighborhood or near your property, tell them that you’re shooting off fireworks. We have a lot of veterans here and some can’t handle the sound of fireworks. It brings back memories of places that civilians could only experience in their worse nightmares. Be courteous to vets.

Be courteous to those near you with farms. Fireworks make animals go crazy, that’s just it. If you’re near a farm, maybe shoot them away from the farm or travel a bit down road to lessen the effect it will have on the animals. Fireworks are fun for you, but not for the people having to console their horses or other animals.

Be courteous to those with families near you. Some families may ask you to turn it down. Please do not be angry at these families and handle the conversation with civility. Some children can’t handle the loud noises of a party or fireworks. They just can’t. While we all want to have a good time, it’s not worth it if it means putting a kid through the fire and flames for a night.

Also, some families have babies and young ones. If they ask you to keep it down because their baby is asleep, please respect that.

To those who would be asking the people celebrating to turn it down, be courteous to the people celebrating. They just want to have a good time celebrating one of the most important days in American history. Again, please be courteous and civil with each other.

Finally, be careful. Do not do anything dumb with fireworks please. Make sure you have a launcher or the stake is firmly in the ground before firing it off.

As a person who has dodged 12 roman candles firing at him because the candle fell over, please be careful.

Remember bottle rockets and other fireworks can hit power lines and mess them up. Also, be aware that you can light a person’s chair or roof on fire with a miscalculated bottle rocket. I won’t disclose which one of those two I’ve done personally before. They can also catch mobile homes on fire.

Do not become part of the “dumbest firework accidents” lists that I look up every year after Fourth of July. Most of those are common sense like don’t launch a bottle rocket from your mouth or head. Also, rockets and the like are in fact explosives so remember that shrapnel can be a problem. People have died from shrapnel when the tubes they were shooting out of bit the dust.

So this Fourth of July, I want you to have fun. I want you to celebrate America’s independence. However, I want all of you to try to be kind, courteous and careful so that your own celebration doesn’t ruin your own or someone else’s day as well. Have fun, be safe and God Bless America.

Justin Blowers is a staff writer for The Southeast Sun and Daleville Sun-Courier. The opinions of this writer are his own and not the opinion of the paper. He can be reached at (334) 393-2969 or by email at sjblowers@southeastsun.com.

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