As a child growing up in the Depression, July 4th was a major event because baseball teams played a double header and you could hear two games in one day. It was also a major event for us on the streets of New York City because we had big stickball games that lasted hours. But, we lived in a city whose mayor, Fiorello LaGuardia, believed fireworks were dangerous and ensured they were banned. So, rarely, did we have many fireworks and had to content ourselves with playing ball.
Yesterday, I wandered into several parks around St. Louis and watched the sky get lit up with beautiful sparks of bursting lights. I lay back on the grass and enjoyed myself. I was all alone, lying with my hands folded underneath my head as people oohed and shouted with glee at the firework displays. I felt peace for a moment, and then as one powerful blast lit the sky, my mind turned to Iraq. I wondered if our soldiers were doing fireworks or did they have enough each day to even consider the thought of doing their own? I had this feeling they were like we kids back in the Bronx, no fireworks, just do something that gave you peace and contentment.
There was something ironic watching the fireworks while people are being fired at in Iraq and dying.