Celebrating the 4th of July – A Different Perspective

fireworks during night time
Photo by Matthew Landers on Unsplash

Recently Splash Magazines Worldwide received information from a group that has been making the world a better place for 100 years – helping animals around the world and helping vets by pairing them with trained service dogs.  The 4th of July is a time for celebration but it can be very noisy and the noise can be problematic for dogs and for Vets. Read on to learn more.

“American Humane, the country’s first national humane organization, which has been working to support the U.S. military and military animals for more than 100 years.” is credited for the following story and photos.

As We Celebrate Our Freedom, Remember Those Who Fought for It

For Americans everywhere, the Fourth of July is a joyous time to celebrate our freedom with family, fun, food and – of course –fireworks. The temptation to indulge in all these pleasures is even stronger this year, as millions have isolated themselves indoors during the COVID-19 pandemic. Cities across the country are reporting a significant spike in fireworks usage, with some, like Milwaukee, seeing a more than 600% increase. 

While these colorful booms and bangs are entertaining for most of us and may help blow off some of our pent-up stresses and anxieties, they can be harmful and even dangerous to others, including America’s many veterans seeking to cope with Post-Traumatic Stress. Sudden loud sounds, rocket whistles, and explosions can cause anxiety for veterans and trigger flashbacks to traumatic events, which, for some, have even prompted suicide attempts.

 American Humane, which has worked to support the U.S. military for more than a century, and trains service dogs to help veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress and Traumatic Brain Injury, recommends that those who intend to celebrate with fireworks take into consideration the veterans who live in their communities, moving the festivities further away from their homes, or opting to purchase so-called “silent fireworks,” which provide dazzling light shows without the percussive booms. Your consideration will be well appreciated by our vets’ service dogs, as well, since animals are very sensitive to fireworks. In fact, July 5 is the busiest day of the year at animal shelters as many of our best friends flee in fright from their homes. For veterans who rely on their lifesaving service dogs during this stressful time, such an occurrence could be more than alarming. 

This Fourth of July, as we celebrate our freedom, let’s remember those who fought for that freedom and give them some independence from this one aspect of an otherwise joyous celebration.

About American Humane
American Humane is the country’s first national humane organization, founded in 1877. For more information, visit www.americanhumane.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Ron Irwin is a Splash Magazines Worldwide journalist and a Vietnam Vet who shared his own experience which related to loud, unexpected noise.

“One personal note- within a few days of coming home after Vietnam a friend invited me to his house and as we chatted he put on some music.  The 1812 overture to be exact.  When the canons went off I dove under his coffee table.  In a matter of a few seconds I realized I had nothing to worry about but I did express my deep dislike of his music choice.  

And that is the only issue I might have.  That is war veterans are far more likely to have serious negative reactions when the bang boom is not expected.  You expect bangs and booms with fireworks.

Thanks to Mark Stubis for his help.

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