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.
The success of “Hearts For Heroes” inspired a new nationwide Adecco program, “Postcards To Patriots.” In an effort to recognize our military on the 4th of July, Adecco reached out to communities all over America to collect postcards with personal notes to thank our servicemen and women. Businesses and local organizations stepped up to participate in our postcard drive – from Girl Scouts in Florida to Rotary Clubs in Hawaii, to General Electric in Ohio. Our postcards are expected to reach between 20,000-25,000 deployed troops this Independence Day. We hope it sparks a smile, or at least helps them mark the holiday.
And if it were legal to mail sparklers, we’d do that too.