And while there were plenty of family time and activities that stirred the souls of patriots young and old this year, there was also a bit too much freedom in our celebrations for most peoples’ liking.
More than half of our readers who participated in an online poll at grandhaventribune.com said the four-day-long personal fireworks shows were way over the top – in a bad way.
A full 18 percent of respondents said the fireworks displays drove them nuts, 16 percent said their pets went crazy, 3 percent showed concern for veterans suffering from PTSD who had trouble with the constant barrage, and 15 percent said fireworks should be outright banned.
We had high hopes that when the state loosened the regulations on fireworks that people would show restraint and be reasonable in their approach to these explosives. After all, most people in the Tri-Cities community care about their neighbors, love dogs and cats, and generally seek to promote peace and harmony.
Clearly, we were wrong.
While we promote freedom on a regular basis, we also expect people to use common sense and be respectful. That didn’t happen this year. In fact, many shot off fireworks well outside the 1 a.m. legal cutoff and a full day later than they were allowed to under state law.
The chest-reverberating booms drove pets and humans alike to duck for cover, and four days of this left many shaken, exhausted and downright disgusted.
This flagrant disregard for the well-being of others beyond their circle of fellow celebrants has led to local governments eyeing the regulations and figuring out how to better enforce the rules.
We urge officials to do all they can to make sure celebrations in the future are respectful of the law and of their neighbors.
Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Alex Doty, Fred VandenBrand and Mark Brooky. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to firstname.lastname@example.org or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.