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Uncle Sam's Jam, 07.03.2018

Fireworks light up the sky Tuesday, July 3, 2018, over Oak Lake Park to finish off the annual Uncle Sam Jam.

Cindy Lange-Kubick's column (“The sounds of war on a street near you," July 1) highlights the growing apathy of the average American towards our vulnerable citizens on July 4.

It is well known that vets with PTSD, infants and house pets can be traumatized by the sounds of loud fireworks -- and we just don’t care. Like the subject of the story, Stuart Mason, the Fourth also used to be one of my favorite holidays.

Now, however, it has been taken over by the self-gratification crowd. The desire to have fun with explosives takes priority over all else, including consideration for neighbors, compromised individuals and the community in general.

This not an expression of patriotism (the excuse frequently dusted off by the inconsiderate) but rather an abuse of it. When we become so self-centered as to disregard those who are deeply frightened by this dubious tradition, we become less American.

The Fourth can be fully enjoyed by setting off fireworks that don’t rattle windows in the night and by attending the many public, professional displays that are gorgeous patriotic expressions while being kept under reasonable control.

So the next time you set off a thundering firecracker while grinning ear to ear, remember those you have just shocked into tears and dread, and decide if it was worth the fun. Unfortunately, I already know your decision.

Larry Claassen, Lincoln

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