One evening in a war zone

I got in bed after 11 p.m. on July 4th. The war zone explosions kept us out in the backyard, keeping vigil like a World War II bomb-watch brigade.

Although people in Fresno, and elsewhere, are bitterly complaining about prices of everything, these same people have large amounts of money available to buy anything they want, whether it is high-priced gas for their new cars, plane tickets to vacation getaways, expensive meals at restaurants, and $800 fireworks packages. Now, those are the safe and sane variety and there were many, but what really blew us away were the professional grade, bombs-bursting-in-air variety. These cost far more.

The Fresno Police and Fire Departments had threatened to fine those who were setting off any explosive that left the ground (that’s all of them, even the safe and sane), there were far too many for the patrols to find and write a $1000 ticket. Besides, the attitudes of these pyromaniacs was that they were just entertaining their dear families and friends. It’s all good fun, and should we be fined, it’s part of the whole cost of the party.

The sparks rained down on us, and I found lots of detritus from the exploding devices in our driveway this morning. Not on our street, but in other parts of the city, cars caught on fire because they had been left outside, on the streets. Ours were garaged as they always are. Car alarms went off all evening due to the loud explosions. The cats were terrorized. My anxiety was off the charts. Never has it been this overwhelming.

Will the city make changes for next year? Nope. Police and fire will warn people. The people will pay no attention. The illegal fireworks are very easy to procure. They provide lots of bang for the buck, and people have the buck to send up in flame. I will be a year older and it will rattle my nerves. It’s only one evening in a war zone.

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15 responses to “One evening in a war zone

  1. We did not even glance at the displays—almost entirely illegal. The beach fires were bad enough: fires larger than is legal, burning drift logs (illegal), and in wind! They could not get close to their “campfires” that blew all over, but that didn’t stop them from piling on more wood!

    So far as I know, no house or person burned, no rock blew up (the basalt stones do that sometimes when used to make a fire ring and the fire burns too hot). So that is a blessing.

    We skipped our morning walk because we were up too late last night, eating for it to stop. The beach will be trashed with litter and toxic waste from fireworks. People neglect the danger from poisonous chemicals that make colors. But then… well, they only object to other people’s misdeeds without admitting their own.

  2. Elizabeth A Rogers

    Plenty of fireworks here in our small city outside Seattle, too, although we were far enough away from the local action so there was no debris–just explosions until about 1:00 AM. Our 17 Y/O cat joins my husband and me in not hearing as well as we once did, which makes July 4th somewhat easier.

    I don’t think anything will change unless the SALE and purchase of fireworks is made illegal, which I totally support. Many Native American tribes (they’re the major purveyor of fireworks here) have casino revenue now, but if money is the issue, I’d support the city paying them NOT to sell fireworks. We watched the (legal) city show on TV, and it was excellent.

  3. I too was distressed trying to sleep last night and thought about those who are in war zones and how awful it must be to have bombs flying day and night. I finally got to sleep and feel much better on this side of the loud holiday. 🙂

  4. I can sure understand you being anxious, that sounded like a tiring night for you. There were a lot around my area that sounded more like bombs than fireworks, gun firing off too. I never look forward to fireworks, too many people don’t obey the ordinances and laws.

  5. Wow! Your area was really bad! Over here, only sporadic firecrackers and little noise. We were lucky. Gigi hawaii

    • You were very fortunate. Perhaps your citizens don’t have as easy access to exploding devices. There is talk about not allowing sale of safe and sane fireworks. Those create so much air pollution.

  6. Sorry you had such a wretched night. Here in Maryland, most fireworks are illegal but people go over to Virginia and bring them back. We had explosions for three hours and litter everywhere this morning. Mindless entertainment for some every 4th of July.

    • Our overstretched police department was able to hand out 33 citations for illegal fireworks. Those citations come with $2000 fines, but who knows if they will ever be paid. Three homes were burned by illegal fireworks. One home belonged to an elderly man who has leukemia.

  7. The pollution, of all kinds.In our place there used to be fireworks for Deepawali but they stopped it. But fireworks are in use in most places. They should be banned, then some interested party state that people who make the fireworks are out of work . Take care.

  8. There were several city-produced fireworks displays last night, but we couldn’t hear or see those from our place. The ones we could hear started at dark, and were still going on when we went to bed at 10:30.

    However, unlike in previous years neither the people or the resident cat were bothered by the noise. I’m not sure why.

  9. Wow… when we left the radiology center we noticed fireworks stands all over town. Most had closed down, but it made me wonder if people from here in our small town (that has outlawed ALL fireworks other than the one display put on by the fire department out at the airport), bought fireworks there and brought them back to our town. Poor animals…

  10. just crazy – half the time if you ask someone why they have fireworks, and they have no idea why! – and then they are seen queueing up for a food parcel or a loan because they haven’t got enough money to feed the kids.

    • The expensive fireworks that blow up in my neighborhood are all from wealthy and entitled out-of-towners. They spend hundreds or thousands of dollars collectively and their children never go hungry—

      My husband says: “It’s their country; we just live in it.” It is their attitude that they are on vacation and can do whatever they want to do. They drive all the local wildlife and leave their firework trash all over the beach.

      I promise you it’s not poor and hungry people who do this. It’s the people who cn afford to rent an ocean-front house at $800/night. They are the worst.

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