EDITORIAL

A celebration of community spirit

Posted 6/30/21

The pandemic has continued to fade, summer is in full swing, and one of our most cherished holidays has arrived. Love them or loathe them, nothing says "Fourth of July" quite like a fireworks display. And the skies above our communities figure to be

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EDITORIAL

A celebration of community spirit

Posted

The pandemic has continued to fade, summer is in full swing, and one of our most cherished holidays has arrived.

Love them or loathe them, nothing says “Fourth of July” quite like a fireworks display. And the skies above our communities figure to be shining brightly in the nights ahead.

In Cranston, for the first time in several years, the softball field on Atwood Avenue – next to the old police station, in Rhode Island terms – will play host to a fireworks display on the Fourth thanks to the nonprofit Cranston Cares and its various sponsors. The organization honors the memory of Sgt. Adam DeCiccio, an Army veteran and Cranston native who passed away late last year.

We applaud the organizers and sponsors of this event for making it possible, and we look forward to the show. It’s a sorely needed chance for members of our community to gather together in celebration, make memories and look forward to the weeks ahead.

There’ll be more local fireworks, too, with the return of St. Mary’s Feast in mid-July. After last year’s celebration was all but canceled because of COVID-19, residents of Knightsville and beyond are rightfully thrilled to see the return of this summer staple in Cranston. We can’t wait to join in.

We’d be remiss, though, if we didn’t address an issue we’ve raised before – the smaller, unauthorized fireworks displays sure to be going off throughout the city in the nights to come.

It’s been a few years now since Rhode Island legalized the sale and use of ground-based and handheld fireworks, such as sparklers and fountains. Many other types of fireworks, of course, are readily available elsewhere in New England, and those pyrotechnics wind up in Ocean State backyards and block parties.

Everyone deserves the chance to celebrate, especially after the year we’ve had. But we ask all residents of our communities to please temper that revelry with a sense of safety, civic responsibility and common sense.

Keep in mind that in densely populated neighborhoods, a mishap carries the risk of homes and lives lost if a blaze were to break out.

Show respect for the emergency personnel who would be tasked with responding to such a disaster – and who would race to the scene if you, or someone else at your party, were burned or otherwise injured.

Remember to be respectful of neighbors. Don’t forget that the sights and sounds of fireworks might affect the most vulnerable among us – seniors, those dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder, even pets – in deeply negative ways.

This year, more than ever, the Fourth of July is special for all of us. After the year-plus we’ve been through together, let our celebration of the American spirit truly be a celebration of community spirit as well.

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