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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Fireworks are what make me American

    Call me materialistic. Call me a kid. Call me a pyrotechnic-loving, easily amused, aesthetically pleased individual. Just don’t call me unpatriotic.

    If the saying is true that nostalgia is a warm bath, I become more prune-like each time there’s a shower of fireworks above me. Each year the Fourth of July rolls around I regress in age, going back to the days when the hood of a car was as soft as a bedspread beneath my back as I looked up at the night sky to see fireworks raining down.

    Or maybe that car hood was a tuft of grass or a blanket in the park. Maybe the viewing area was on top of “”A”” Mountain, on top of a parking garage or on the top of a house.

    Watching fireworks is like sex in a way: You can do it almost anywhere and it never gets boring. Oh, but in the long run, watching those colorful sparks dance high in the sky always trumps sex, for the latter is not always special, as is the former.

    I know what Independence Day is all about. The historical significance is eminent in the back of my skull, along with every other major American holiday. You can wave the U.S. flag around while wearing red, white and blue and listen to Toby Keith sing the line, “”We’ll put a boot in your ass, it’s the American way,”” but it’s the celebration – yes, the fireworks – that really makes you feel American.

    But they have fireworks all over the world, you say. What makes an Independence Day fireworks show so special?

    Well, that’s where the significance of America really comes into play. It’s the scene in “”The Sandlot”” when Benny Rodriguez hits the baseball into the sky filled with fireworks. All of kids get lost in the lightshow, their mouths drop like anchors and Ray Charles’ “”America the Beautiful”” dances in your ears, giving you goosebumps.

    It creates a feeling of total freedom. The only thing that matters in the world at that time is the beautiful display above you, lingering in the sky, completely unattached from any of the world’s qualms.

    Those who take in the fireworks show over Disneyland, New York City, Boston’s Charles River, or even in Tucson on Independence Day will experience the same thing: absolute bliss. For those 10-20 minutes, rising gas prices won’t matter. Terrorism won’t matter. And those nagging in-laws of yours? Well, they’ll still be a sharp pain in your ass, but for that short amount of time, they won’t matter either.

    So call me what you want. On the Fourth of July, fireworks are what make me American.

    – Lance Madden is journalism sophomore. He can be reached at

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