- Posted July 4, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
However what's not often thought of is at what cost those celebrations would come to the American people. It's a fact that every year millions of dollars are literally going up in smoke, a fact that would surely make the Founding Fathers roll in their graves.
In most cities and towns, save the smallest ones, there are plenty of celebrations to be had on this day. Parades, Barbecues, and of course fireworks. For many of these cities the costs that naturally come with these events are subsidized by corporate donations and by community volunteers. In my city alone I know that there is a committee of local businesses that pool their donations together to put on a show. Unfortunately things don't always go as smoothly as cities and citizens would hope and as a result the coffers of the local governments are raided.
Take the City of Detroit for example. We all know how much trouble they found themselves in when the recession hit and the drastic measures that have been taken to ensure it still remains relevant on the map. This year alone Detroit will spend $872,000 dollars on fireworks displays. Think about that number....it's almost a million dollars on a show that lasts less than an hour. In Nashville, the music city spends more than $500,000 to subsidize the cities' fireworks display.
In some smaller cities where they are not as fortunate to year after year guarantee a show on July 4th many of the citizens have stepped forward to ensure such a celebration occurs. The community collectively funds the displays purely through donations. To me that more closely embodies the spirit of Independence Day.
There is more than a little irony in the fact that Independence Day, which celebrates people freeing themselves from a government that taxed them to pay for lavish affairs that celebrated the government, is now celebrated by government taxing people to pay for lavish affairs that celebrate the government. It's a cause of concern, at what cost are we memorializing a day of independence. I find myself taking a step back and asking "Why should I have so much concern for my tax dollars funding a child's healthcare, education, and general well-being, but not the slightest sign of distress when my eyes are lit up with exploding chemicals in the air at the cost of thousands per minute?"
Happy Independence Day America. 236 Years Old and still kicking.