The Fourth of July does not sit well with veterans
Agree. Fireworks are expensive indulgences that are at best an irritation. Our dog begins to pant, shake and drool with fear. We will enjoy an early meal with friends and be sure to be home with her. We'll play some music, close the blinds. Comfort her as best we can.
I haven't experienced the horrors that you have. But it occurs to me that if society gave a shit about those who have experienced combat, such events wouldn't occur.
Maybe there is something in the human psyche that just enjoys violence and explosions. Why? Most TV shows are almost required to involve brutality and abuse. I am weary of it. Repulsed.
Hope you find some peace and pleasant companionship tomorrow. There is a lot to celebrate. As messed up as we are, it's still the best country.
Very much to the point, and an extremely important point it is. What may be a light-hearted comment or cute little joke to one person, may be a horrendously traumatic trigger for another. Not to mention loud explosions for fun. None of us know what it's like walking in another's shoes.
I'm reminded of my brother back from Vietnam for about a year when he came out of a grocery store in NJ , just as a fighter jet flew a high-speed pass along the nearby beach. He dropped to the sidewalk, face down, shaking and unable to stop. Many years later, he recounted one of the last times he had heard the sound of a low flying jet - as his friends and fellow marines became a collage on the trees all around him.
When we blow off tons of expensive fireworks we are celebrating our profits really. If the U.S. worked as hard at diplomacy as it does at war perhaps Russia would have backed off its agression toward Ukraine by now. Every day should dawn with U.S. working hard for peace. Wishful pie-in-the-sky thinking I know. For profit corporate media is no help. For profit war material manufacturing is no help. We have 700+ military bases in 80 or so countries. Why we are camped out in others’ backyards is not a mystery. It’s for profit. Bull that we need all those bases to keep us free here. I believe the blinders must drop when soldiers find themselves in combat. When I was much much younger I went to an anti-war meeting (I think the group was called Beyond War) where a high-ranking military officer (he was in uniform) talked of the importance of working for peace. I was blown away by his compassion. That’s what I remember about his speech--his compassion. He had probably been in combat and knew the score.
I’m with you Pen. My poor dog ... I love him, and wish I could assure him that he’s going to be ok ... but he’s still a pet, important to me, but not human. I’ve had a “teary” day, for some reason, idk, but your letter started me up again, at the end of the day, thinking about everything we’ve asked of our veterans and subjected them to and then they come home, have to struggle to find a way to live in society again and at least once a year, every year, they’re forced to experience their worst nightmare all over again. No compassion. There have been many posts in my local Nextdoor ... for as many people who are sympathetic, there are as many, maybe more who do not care. Get over it, seems their refrain. They’ve clearly been privileged enough to not have the experience. I’m very sorry some of our fellow human beings are so unfeeling and cruel. There are loud explosions all around my neighborhood. Tomorrow night will be worse. I’m not feeling much like “celebrating”. Be good to yourself and know many of us suffer with you in our own ways.
Your post today taught me something new. I had never considered what hearing Fourth of July explosions would be like for people who have been in combat. I want to thank you for expanding my thinking. You made me think about how upsetting it must be to hear all the Fourth of July noise for people like yourself. Here's a little Fourth experience I want to share with you: I was quietly watching Netflix on my computer along about dusk and was very startled to hear a loud explosion from next door that made me jump. I immediately knew what I had heard, but an altogether new thought crossed my mind after hearing the noise - how terrifying it would have been for someone who had been in combat and had been in danger of being killed or wounded. I had that thought because of what you shared here. Your post just shifted my thoughts on fireworks in an important direction to help me in my quest to always increase my understanding of other peoples' point of view.
It’s tiresome to be on fire watch with my garden hose available for the first roof to catch fire. Especially living in America’s mullet - Florida.
Perhaps this cool alternative will catch on. A constructive use of drones (see link).