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OpinionEditorial

A post-Fourth respite, please

Fireworks above Jones Beach.

Fireworks above Jones Beach.

Ideally, the end of this Independence Day weekend would mark the start of a vacation — from the din of firecrackers and M-80s exploding one after another in streets, yards, parks, beaches and woods.

If only.

For those with post-traumatic stress disorder, fireworks — whether from pyrotechnic displays or barbecues across the street — can set off mental health consequences.

Declaring a cease-fire after celebrating the rockets’ red glare might spare not just nerves but the fingers, eyes, ears, arms, and legs of people who ignite the sizzles and booms. Burns to various body parts are a typical injury.

Freedom from fear of accidental blazes could also feel like a mini-vacation. Last year, the National Fire Protection Association published a study that found 28% of fires started by fireworks over a five-year span were reported on July Fourth alone. Why extend the season?

Remember the pets. Animals are supersensitive to loud bangs, flashes and strong smells. Imagine a post-Fourth respite where you didn't need to keep the dog from freaking out.

Could we even make a civic pilot program out of a few weeks' tranquility? Call it a post-holiday holiday from noise and injury. Informally declare the rest of July to be "Eardrum Salvation Month" and go from there.

An end of pandemic restrictions need not mean the revival of excess. Here's to dreams of peace in the weeks ahead.

MEMBERS OF THE EDITORIAL BOARD are experienced journalists who offer reasoned opinions, based on facts, to encourage informed debate about the issues facing our community.

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