The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Editorials

July 4, 2014

Editorial: Celebrate freedom but be safe

You may have already heard the pop and bang noises associated with celebrating Independence Day. You may have even set some fireworks off by yourself.

Hopefully you have not been arrested for illegally lighting a fuse. Or injured.

Indiana does have fireworks laws intended to protect Hoosiers from mishaps.

Outside of public displays, fireworks may be discharged on a user’s private property or the property of someone who has granted permission. If done elsewhere, it could result in a $500 fine. Reckless use could cost much more including possible injury.

Fireworks can be discharged between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m. on most days other than holidays. On holidays, such as Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day and New Year’s Eve, they can be discharged until midnight.

And — concerning this weekend — they can be discharged until two hours past sunset on July 5 to 9, according to state law. Local ordinances can also restrict the hours for fireworks use. Anderson’s ordinance limits use between 10 a.m. and midnight on July 4. And fireworks are restricted to between 5 p.m. and two hours after sunset on July 5-9.

Check with your local fire department to find out your local hours.

With safety in mind, setting off bottle rockets and sparklers can be a fitting way to celebrate the purpose of the holiday: honoring the publication of the Declaration of Independence.

On June 7, 1776, a resolution was presented to the Second Continental Congress seeking independence from Great Britain. The resolution passed unanimously on July 2: New York abstained.

John Adams thought that July 2 would be honored forever by future Americans. Instead, July 4, when Thomas Jefferson’s version of the final resolution was adopted, became the celebratory day.

So there is great reason for Americans to honor this day.

And now — 238 years down the road — Hoosiers should celebrate their freedoms, as safely as possible.

In summary Independence Day should be celebrated by all Americans, but do it safely.

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