What is it about fireworks that so fascinates all of us from 4-94? The “ohs” and “ahs” heard every 4th of July is truly amazing, considering our modern world of HD, 3D, and digital surround sound. As a rule, unfortunately, our country has become increasingly scornful of old traditions – the holidays have become glitzy displays of modernism, beginning so early in the year kids aren’t even trying to “be good for goodness’ sake” yet, beautiful traditions like reciting the pledge of allegiance in school are being argued in front of judges in courts across the land, and even my Jewish friends tell me that the bar/bat mitzvahs that used to be fun, simple ceremonies of young men and women coming of age are now competitions of who has the grandest. And yet every summer, millions of families gather on picnic blankets and folding chairs around our country and are enthralled for 15-20 minutes over flashes of light in the sky. My 12 year old’s Facebook page was full of proclamations of “Cool firework show tonight” and “I watched some beast fireworks with Emma tonight”. Wow – beast! That is high praise coming from young adolescents. Trust me, I know these things…
I don’t know if it is possible to return to the days of reverence for the sacred, the traditional. Perhaps, if this recession/depression continues much longer we will be forced into appreciating more simple things again. However, it is fun, for just a few minutes, for me to close my eyes as I listen to the ear-shattering booms of fireworks and imagine men, women and children of all generations, all religions, and all hues with their heads tipped back and wonder in their eyes gazing into the exploding night sky.
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