Ooooh! Ahhhh! Ooops!

Three cheers for the USA and a great big Happy Birthday! Monday we celebrate the 240th anniversary of the birth of our nation – Independence Day 2016.There will be celebrations of all kinds; parades, concerts, family get-togethers, barbecues, sporting events and fireworks.

Practically synonymous with the Fourth of July, fireworks have long been a part of our Independence Day celebrations. As far back as 1777, Philadelphia put together a full day of festivities that included a parade, dinner, music, musket salutes and fireworks.

Fireworks are magical; explosions of bright colors, shapes and sounds lighting up the night sky as young and old alike watch in awe. They are the grand finale for the day’s celebrations. Fireworks are also dangerous. There you have it. The other shoe just dropped.
Now before you roll your eyes at my keen grasp of the obvious and think I’m looking at the glass half full, think about this: during the 2014 calendar year, fireworks were involved in an estimated 10,500 injuries treated in hospital emergency departments and almost 67 percent of those occurred during a 30-day period surrounding the Fourth of July. Some of these injuries resulted in deaths. (Consumer Products Safety Commission)  And according to the National Fire Protection Agency, fireworks cause an estimated 15,600 reported fires in the U.S. in 2013 resulting in a number of injuries and thousands of dollars in property damage.
It’s enough to put a little tarnish on the magic don’t you think? But it doesn’t have to – JUST BE SMART AND BE SAFE! A celebration is no time to cut corners on safety. Remember, it’s only fun until someone gets hurt. Leave things to the professionals.
And, amidst all the festivities, please take a few minutes to remember the real reason we celebrate this day – our freedom and all of those who fought and still fight to preserve it.

Have a safe and happy Fourth of July!

Posted by MJ Thomas

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