01 July 2009


erk. the 4th of july is nearly upon us. every year for forty years i have dreaded our nation's celebration of its independence. bursting fireworks, explosions, parachute flares, choppers overhead all restimulate my experiences in vietnam, march 1968 - march 1969. what others look forward to as party time, i dread. my solution is to insulate myself from the sights and sounds as much as possible -- create a pocket of quiet and calm amid simulated (or sometimes real) gunfire and the surrogate displays of war. you think i'm being overreactive, that it's all innocent fun? just listen to the words of our national anthem -- "the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air" -- then we'll talk. maybe. but for this vet, the 4th is a time of torture.


  1. The 4th is more than torture here, as well. My mother used some of my brothers' fireworks to attempt suicide. It only damaged the bathroom and caused burns. She then went to the basement and used my father's table saw to finish the job. My father(a minister) needed it all cleaned up, for 'what would people think' and 'there'may be company this evening'!

    Those rockets red glare and booming sounds only caused a post traumatic disaster each year. Know that you are not alone on the 4th! Consider yourself hugged! We do Tom Sawyer Days & art in the Park stuff this weekend to survive.

  2. and hugs right back. your story is heart-breaking. thank you for sharing it.