Fireworks on the Fourth of July

By Shanae Nelson

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Independence Day spells fireworks, family picnics, beaches and parties. Pelham Parkway’s neighborhood was quiet and still at eight in the morning, but little by little people started pouring in from different angles to shop and end their day with a blast.

This Fourth of July was no different from previous ones. Families gathered together and sat on the grass or played football. Some people were dressed for the beach as could be seen under revealing garments. Customers and residents shared how they will spend their Fourth of July and what they think about annual fireworks. The issue of safety has been a concern for the residents of Pelham Parkway.

Theresa Thomas, pregnant with her second child, was shopping at a Rainbow clothing store in Pelham Parkway. “If it weren’t for the pregnancy, I would be with my family and having a cookout,” she said. She explained that she will not be going out today but will be heading “home under the AC eating,” she said with a laugh.

Ms. Thomas mentioned her love for fireworks but made it clear that she is not involved in it by saying, “I don’t set them off myself and my son loves to see the fireworks too.” She expressed her concerns about the need for extra safety precautions. “People drink and are not in their right minds,” she said.

“I think the fireworks are necessary to help celebrate the idea of independence,” said Ms. Thomas. She mentioned that it is dangerous when everyone has them but she likes to watch the fireworks “in a closed off area or in a safe area,” she said.

Sitting on a bench at the Boston Road Elias Karmon Senior Center was Mr. D.E.H. He was sitting with his friend who refused to give her name. He said that he’s, “not too excited” about the fourth of July “because it’s just a holiday”.

Unlike Ms. Thomas’s  positive feelings for the holiday, when it comes to the fireworks, “I think they’re just wasting money.” Mr. D.E.H. believes that we should be extra careful on the fourth of July. “People lose their hand and they don’t listen. The younger people never learn,” he said while shaking his head in disbelief.

Mr. H shared a sad story of why he does not like fireworks that much. “I don’t like fireworks. I almost got my fingers blown off one time,” he said.

Lakisha Petterson shared her views on the 4th of July as she walked to the bus station for the number 12 bus that runs through Pelham to Orchard Beach.

Ms. Petterson said that the 4th of July is just a “just a normal day” for her but others “celebrate”. Ms. Petterson, instead of having a cookout or going to the beach, “did nothing special,” she said.

As for the fireworks,  “I don’t think they are necessary but it’s a tradition so they do it.” Ms. Petterson stated that on a day like the 4th of July everyone should be careful because “people love to play around,” she said.

“I stay home and rest and then in the evening I’m going to a barbeque,” stated Jasmine Karey, who was taking a rest on the sidewalk as she waited for the 39 bus, which runs parallel to the 12 bus. To her the 4th of July means “cookouts and celebrations,”she said.

When Ms. Karey was asked what she loved about the 4th of July she could not find anything to say but commented that “it is too hot.”

People are awed by the bright lights, the different colors, the arrangements in the sky and the explosions that come from a litte powder. Along with the fireworks come loud noises that normally fascinate those who spend hours in the heat just to have a clear view or a front row seat.

For Ms. Krey this isn’t so. “The fireworks aren’t necessary,” she said. “Sometimes they frighten me.”

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