Our ceremonial day of Independence from the British Empire in 1776 is a great reason to celebrate for all Americans alike. On this federal holiday, Americans typically celebrate by having a customary barbecue with family and friends or head to a nearby lake for some good times on the water (with or without some good ole’ American beer in hand). Of course, there are plenty of explosive fireworks involved as well because it just wouldn’t be American if we didn’t! Fireworks on the 4th of July are as American as apple pie and sweet tea on, well,….. every other day of the year. We enjoy a good celebration here, and you should too!
BUT there are always some important things to consider when you are out having a blast on that special night.
If you know your neighbor or family member nearby has PTSD or has endured trauma on the battle field, please be mindful of how it may affect them. Many soldiers that have returned from war are easily startled by loud bangs and booms. You would be too if it were you. They want the same fun that you do, and they also want to be able to enjoy the show. After all, the fireworks shows are for them and the sacrifices they have made to bring us freedom and independence!
Here are some tips on how to help out:
- Please be courteous with where you set off fireworks. Try to keep them at a safe distance from neighboring houses, especially if you know a combat veteran lives there.
- Combat veterans know that the 4th of July will be the main day for fireworks, and they are prepared for that, but if you want to set of fireworks in the days or weeks prior or post July 4th, try to inform your neighbors with PTSD so they are prepared.
- If you have extra sets of earplugs, they could make a world of difference for someone with PTSD.
- Lastly, this website here: Military With PTSD provides combat veterans with free signs they can display so others know to be courteous with fireworks around them. Although there is a waiting list, the concept is honorable. You could also create basic sign with cardboard or card stock if necessary.
We show veterans respect, after all, they are the reason we get to celebrate this holiday. Please be courteous and allow them to enjoy the holiday with us!