Friday, July 04, 2014

"Explosions are not comfortable." (Yevgeny Zamyatin, exiled Soviet dissident)

For many years, our country has proudly embraced our heritage of blowing shit up by scheduling an annual celebration of gunpowder and explosions.

It's a long and noble birthright, of invading sovereign nations, toppling governments and propping up dictators. Our very nation is founded in destruction and bloodshed, 238 years ago. And the GOP in our our Congress wants to continue it even today, in far-flung corners of the globe (mostly the Middle East).

However, as more veterans return from the battlefield scarred with wounds they may never recover from, both physical and psychic, the media is finally noting something that some of us noted some years ago: perhaps some of our veterans don't appreciate random explosions in their neighborhood.

It's a fairly simple equation, one that I can attest to myself, but only to an extremely limited extent. (My older son, returned from far too many tours in Afghanistan, struggles with PTSD every day.)

There is something about being in a high-stress environment, and having no warning as to when a loud noise might mean the death of a friend or a companion. Or worse, the knowledge that you, yourself, might never hear the last echo dying away, as you do the same yourself.

There are many reasons to oppose fireworks, especially here in New Mexico. Hundreds and thousands of acres of land are destroyed every year, homes are destroyed and people are killed, because of wildfires here in the Southwest, many of them caused by unregulated use of fireworks. But there's another fact that the American people are finally realizing.

In honoring our nation's history, you are, perhaps inadvertently, harming our nation's veterans.

Way to support the troops, America.

No comments: