Ryan Wrecker

Wrecker: Happy 4th of July

Ryan Wrecker
July 02, 2018 - 10:00 am

The idea of fireworks started in China as early as the 9th Century in China.  Years of variations, experimentations and eventual migration to Europe in the 14th Century and became popular in the 17th Century. That is if you believe Wikipedia.

I like to think fireworks started the same way a lot of other get together moments begin – with a bang and reaction.  We all love a nice day off, and since most of us like to spend it with other people like family or neighbors we realize there’s only so much any one person can talk about.  There’s only so many political things you can bring up without getting into a fight. There’s only so many gripes about the Blues or Cardinals you can muster up in an evening.

If human nature is universal throughout the years, I imagine the silence was not always golden. Our ancestors, too, were looking for an excuse to not have to fill every moment with filler.  Enter the great relief of explosives.

But in America, we do it for different and more meaningful reasons.  It’s to celebrate.  In 1776, John Adams wrote that the Declaration of Independence..., “It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.”

The only thing missing is air conditioning.

When I was young and my parents were more ambitious, they would throw a party on fireworks night. All of their friends would come over and I would be allowed to have 1 friend. We would sit on the front lawn in chairs to watch the fireworks, without an obligation in the world.  Now I realize it was special because I was young and didn’t have to worry about anything else. But now I get to have that moment with my kid. So it’s special in a different way. 

Happy 4th of July.