Growing up, the boys in our neighborhood scampered for the louder, prouder Independence Day fireworks…the Black Cats and Roman Candles that would send squirrels running. Sparklers, to them, were just too safe and low key.
But sparklers, for my sister and me, were where the real Independence Day joy would be found. We’re talking about twenty to thirty-six inches of pyrotechnic glory, burning up to four magical minutes at literally three thousand degrees in the palm of your little barbecue-coated hand!
Too safe? They’re banned in four states, boys.
The thrill of my annual Independence Day sparkler ritual never fades. For our deployed service members, however, little holiday rituals are among the first good things to stop. That’s why I was excited when my colleague Janet Christensen jump-started a movement to send Valentine cards to the troops deployed from nearby Ellsworth Air Force Base. By the end, her community – schools, churches, businesses, everybody – put over a thousand little notes in the hands of local Airmen deployed overseas.
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