Counter-culture Journals (文革)

Counter-culture Journals (文革)

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Fourth of July Fireworks are a tradition in Kansas

Here in the Wichita Kansas area many of us celebrate the Fourth of July with fireworks. While they are illegal in some states they are legal in most of Kansas. In 1776 Native American Indians were the only people living in this state. The use of fireworks as a part of the celebration goes back about as far as the revolution we celebrate. According to Answers;
"The day will be most memorable in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, bonfires and illuminations (fireworks) from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more."
So wrote John Adams on July 3, 1776 to his wife after the Continental Congress had decided to proclaim the American colonies independent of England. Fireworks were associated with Independence Day celebrations even before the signing of the Declaration.

There seemed to be a rush to ban them from the 1970s until about 10 years ago, when the Wichita and Sedgwick County governments started to loosen up the laws and once again there are firework tents along the roads for today and the last week. Booms, bright streaks of light in the sky and the crackle of firecracker bundles can be heard and seen each night until the actual Fourth of July.
Even when Wichita and most of the county and its cities had bans in place, they just didn’t work. People in this area were used to celebrating with fireworks and they just refused to give up on setting off fireworks.
Many people don’t like them. They bother pets, can start fires and some folks just don’t like the noise. But they have always been popular among children and younger adults. There are always professional displays for those who just want to see and hear a good fireworks display. But for some people, there is nothing like the thrill of lighting the wick of something that will fly, whistle or explode.
Some fireworks are still illegal. Bottle rockets of any kind have been outlawed since the 1970s. But any rocket that doesn’t have a stick is still legal. Cherry Bombs and M-80s are most likely gone for good. No explosive is supposed to be any more powerful than a firecracker. But that still leaves a lot of items that a person can buy and light.
There are also people who rig up their own bombs, from the legal items. According to The Wichita Eagle, police found a bomb, made from sparklers, by a tree on the west end of Wichita. Such activities are very dangerous, but people still do those types of things anyway.
People used to go to other counties to get fireworks they couldn’t get in Wichita. Police are now free to deal with more serious crimes than chasing a few kids with fireworks, as they had to do in years past.
This year the police have set up a special phone line for fireworks complaints to prevent a repeat of last year when people at the site of a serious accident couldn’t reach 911 because it was jammed with people calling in fireworks complaints.
According to The Wichita Eagle, people with fireworks complaints should call one of the four Patrol numbers; Patrol East, 316-350-3420, Patrol West, 316-350-3460, Patrol North 316-350-3400 and Patrol South 316-350-3440.
For some of us, young and old, firecrackers and other fireworks are just a tradition to celebrate our countries revolution and independence from Briton. Using them is about as old as our country is and it is great fun to have them back.

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