Of Patriotism and Fireworks

Sue Hirsch
3 min readJul 5, 2021

We were chatting about fireworks on Nextdoor.com and it’s long been my not so humble opinion that fireworks are really not the symbol of patriotism that we would like to think. The link above will take you to the page of comments where I put in my two cents below:

The 4th really isn’t what it seems to be. IMNSHO, we should be relegating it to the ash heap of our shameful history that involved stealing The Americas from the First Peoples and steam rolling their rights, as we began to assert our own rights to freedom from England. What we are really celebrating is the mass murder, kidnapping and rape of nearly every Native American that we came across, since the time that we invaded and colonized The Americas, and the atrocities continue to this day.

What we really need is a month of repentance and reparations EVERY YEAR, as well as a beginning of efforts at reform of the educational system, such that we are teaching REAL history that includes Native American heroes. We also need a reform of our justice system that has allowed such bad acts as the stealing of Native American water rights by DAPLE and Nestle, and other large corps.

We also need to reform the justice system such that the continuing rape and murder of high numbers of Native American women are no longer swept under the rug, but investigated and prosecuted with at least the same regularity and vigilance as for Non-Native American women.


Even if our having steam rolled right over the legacies of the First People who were here long before we got here, (and just about every other sub-group of Americans) we are still being terribly UNPATRIOTIC.

Tell me how it is “patriotic” to put something into our environment that can do so much damage to the ecosystem in so little time.

What “patriotism” and or loyalty are we showing to the ancestors of our pets that once helped us get through war times and may even have been “war heroes”?

I had to sit in our upstairs bathroom with our dogs again, this year, because their eyes were rolling in their heads with panic. They were quivering and shaking, and I was remembering their bomb sniffing ancestors, and brothers and sisters that lead our soldiers through enemy territory, under harsh conditions.