I find the argument regarding such frivolous displays as wonderfully reflective of patriotism or nationalistic pride not only bogus, but hysterically ridiculous (“Show to Go On,” May 20).
In fact, war veterans have a lot of reservations about such symbolic gestures by naive civilians.
For those who wish to truly support their country’s freedoms for only one day of the year, perhaps a trip to a VA hospital trauma ward would be more appropriate.
Looking for an alternative, something other than pigging out on greasy barbecue slop and getting dead drunk to celebrate our nation’s anniversary? You sunshine soldiers and summer patriots who never served a second in the military could go to such a VA facility and thank the injured men and women, plus their medics, personally.
They know all too well what “bombs bursting in air” (or under their now damaged bodies) really means to the defenders of America’s principles, what permanent sacrifices both they and their families make.
Adding insult to those injuries with a few minutes of cheesy bombast, a la Disneyland, is the collateral damage, the havoc these pyrotechnics wreck on the undefended marine habitats our city is purportedly committed to protect.
Off the record, ask our police, fire and marine safety officers and they’ll tell you that they dread the crowds, confusion and mess these venues inflict upon us. Or you can just watch your frightened family pet as the noise needlessly stresses them out.
All of this doesn’t sound like a jovial celebration to me; it sounds more like punishment. And that sulfurous smell permeating our neighborhoods for several hours? It is not the smell of victory.
Roger E. Butow, Laguna Beach