Editor's note: This article was written by a Townsquare Media Northern New England radio personality and may contain the individual's views, opinions or personal experiences.
Dear Mainers and Granite Staters,
Let me preface this with saying that if you ever told me in my life I'd write a letter like this, I'd laugh in your face and call you a bigger liar than Pinocchio. I've always considered anyone who got upset by fireworks or didn't like them to be the "get off my lawn" type of people.
Yet here I am, just coming off an epic 4th of July Weekend (despite the weather) where fireworks were not only expected, but absolutely anticipated. So many fireworks shows were cancelled last year due to the pandemic, and this was truly our first normalish-feeling weekend in about 16 months.
But I'm writing this letter because something happened on Sunday that completely changed my view of fireworks. At least, the private fireworks displays that we light off in our yards during a bonfire, cookout or all the above. Whether intentional or not, early in the afternoon, a nearby neighbor had set off a couple of fireworks that were so loud they felt like they were going to come through the window.
Now, as someone who has grown up loving fireworks and thunderstorms my whole life, I didn't even bat an eyelash. And if this was before October 2019, I would've been outside celebrating and watching whatever kind of show you can see from fireworks lit off in the middle of the day. But it's post-October 2019, and I have a dog that's about to turn two years old, and isn't used to extremely loud noises like that.
So, when I heard that loud bang and turned to my right to see my boy Remy trembling like I've never seen before -- VISIBLY trembling from across the room -- my tune changed immediately to private fireworks displays like that. So, I have a couple of suggestions -- because it's not just our pets that are shaken up by fireworks, but also former servicemen and women with PTSD that can easily be triggered by fireworks.
I feel like there's a time and a place for fireworks shows like that, and small neighborhood complexes aren't necessarily one of them. So, suggestion one -- buy and light off all the fireworks you want, but do it somewhere as secluded as possible. Not a small neighborhood with families of all ages and pets that could be negatively affected.
Suggestion two, if you really feel the need to set them off in your neighborhood because it's where you're having your cookout and you don't want to go somewhere else (and I get it, because it's your HOME), at the very least, give your neighbors a heads up of when you're planning to so if they have pets or former service members that could become triggered, they can make arrangements.
It's not asking too much. Because even though I assumed I'd hear some fireworks over the weekend, had I known a general time of when they were going to be shot off (and who shoots fireworks off at noontime, anyway), I could've at least made sure the windows were shut and AC was on to muffle the sound, or taken the pup on a ride until the show was over.
I'm all about celebrating, just celebrate respectfully. Or else get off my lawn.