Monday, July 5, 2010


Last year on the 4th, I wrote about my opinion of fireworks. Not much has changed as I hear them echo throughout the neighborhood. Listening to the loud snaps bounce off the houses still reminds me of the familiar sound of gunfire as it would rattle through downtown Baghdad. The stacatto cracks, random and violent, stop just as soon as they start.

Its not the ones that our good neighbors fire off the night of the 4th so much as the fireworks left over. The noises are out of place, even 18 hours after the previous evening's celebration.

This afternoon, I looked out the window to see where the noise was coming from. Watching the fireworks made the experience much different and diffused some of the emotion and reaction that they invoke when I am just listening.

There were four or five kids in the driveway across the street. They were lighting strands of firecrackers and bottle rockets. They seemed blissfully unaware of the power of these explosives and were jumping around, celebrating the day off of school and the power housed in these little cardboard tubes.

What was most satisfying, as I watched them play, was that they had no idea what the sounds of war are, let alone that they were re-creating them in their driveway. Hollering, jumping and laughing, they were enjoying their afternoon.

It reminded me of a quote from one of our Founders, John Adams:

I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy.

Let us all pray that the only 'gunfire' our sons and daughters hear are that of M-80s and firecrackers.