You celebrate while I go back in time
The Fourth of July does not sit well with veterans
Some veterans may enjoy fireworks and celebratory noise-making. None of them are combat veterans. I say this with certainty. As a sub-class of humans, anyone who has been a participant, willing or unwilling, in any modern war, fucking hates it when you party with explosives.
You are having fun making noises that force myself and others of a similar backstory to flashback to various traumas. I have learned to let go of the anger I feel when the explosions start going off. Mostly.
I hope someone who does not understand what we’ve been through reads this essay. They tell you it is honorable to learn the killing arts. That’s a lie. They tell you that you are a hero. That’s a lie. They tell you that your sacrifice will be honored. That’s a lie. You’ll fade away just like people who didn’t sign up to live through hell and come back an empty shell of what they once were.
Trauma is real. Trauma multiplies. Trauma seeps into your core like cancer.
All I can think about while you are blowing up that shit above my home is that I wouldn’t mind if you were silent for the rest of forever. That’s as honest as I know how to be.
Don’t make loud noises just because you can. You’re more entitled than most humans who have ever walked this rock. I struggle and work to be kind, but those noises you are making make me think the skills I learned might need to be applied to you. Isn’t that ironic?
Boom! Boom Boom! Boom, Boom, Boom. Don’t play with the Boom Booms.
I hope your Independence Day is quiet, peaceful, and full of conversations that make you quieter and more self-aware of how temporary we humans are.