Letters to the Editor

Limit fireworks to the Fourth of July

We traditionally celebrate Independence Day with fireworks of many kinds. Oak Harbor has become more and more permissive about when their use is legal. We are writing not to request banning fireworks, but to limit their use to the event they celebrate.

This year, fireworks were legal for an eight-day period, June 28 to July 5, and from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., and midnight on the Fourth itself. Why eight days? What’s being celebrated on June 30? Why 9 a.m. rather than noon or 3 p.m.?

If the bad effects of the risks for injuries and property damage were borne just by those using fireworks, we wouldn’t care so much. But that’s not the case. Also, the intangible damage produced by fireworks, such as interrupted sleep, frayed nerves, panicked pets and livestock, etc., are clearly not limited to just those using fireworks. And the use of all-too-ready illegal fireworks pushes those risks onto even more people and property.

Finally, stretching out the celebrating dilutes the meaning. As Americans, every day should be a celebration of our independence, but we devote a holiday to that celebration to focus on its meaning. Let’s give meaning back to the fireworks by focusing them on the celebration of our independence — on the Fourth of July.

David and Margaret Macys, Capt & CDR, USN (ret.)

Oak Harbor

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