The Fireworks Fallacy

Independence Day, I’ve noticed, isn’t really studied in school. Yes, teachers have their curriculum and standards but we tend to stick to the next holidays on the calendar and even year round schools aren’t in session the first week of July. 

I just don’t think people are as patriotic and proud to be Americans as we used to be.

There. I’ve said it. 

You know, as a retired military spouse (I don’t even know how to word that phrase, if it even is one) and as an American, I’m not supposed to say shit like that. It’s like there are a whole bunch of quotes that we are supposed to say in this day and age and if you don’t follow the script, you’re on the other side. I didn’t even know I had chosen a side. 

Should we be more patriotic? Are we too patriotic? What does it mean to be patriotic anyway? Are we no longer allowed to be proud of who we are and the country we live in?

I thought I knew the answers when I was little but a lot has changed since I was a kid. We can’t say the Pledge of Allegiance anymore. Even if we did there are kids who don’t even have to stand for it and it’s not even a citizenship issue, some religions see that as idolotry. Ironic, isn’t it? 

It’s frustrating that we cannot have discourse without checking the Internet or quoting your coworker said or what everyone else is saying. We have lost our ability to think for ourselves, to express ourselves with evidence and without resorting to name calling. 

And don’t even get me started on fireworks. There are three fireworks stands within a half a mile distance from my house! 

Fireworks are a waste of time and money. My husband came home with the kids and a box of fireworks that set us back almost eighty dollars!

Eighty dollars? What the heck! It wasn’t even athe biggest box!

Still, we buy and light them up for the kids but does that make us patriotic? Spending too much money, setting stuff on fire, and making loud noises means we love our country and in turn, makes us good Americans? 

I don’t know who is messed up more from these loud, crazy ass fireworks going off tonight: the dog or the husband. Both cringe and shake when they hear the explosions. Both will probably have trouble sleeping fir the next couple of nights.

Now don’t get it twisted, I’m not saying to quit buying fireworks to prove something or that you’re unpatriotic if you don’t. We aren’t that house that has the “No Fireworks” sign that warns  others about a member of the household with PTSD. I think we should rethink our definitions of Independence Day, patriotism, and what it really means to be an American. I don’t have the answers but I’m pretty sure you won’t find them in a box of firecrackers. 

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