For as long as I’ve lived in Wallingford, and for many years prior to my arrival, the town has marked the Independence Day holiday with a spectacular fireworks display that draws thousands, residents and non-residents alike. In 2009, the town stopped funding the fireworks but found funds for them from savings on a town insurance policy. Beginning the following year, however, funding for the annual event was again eliminated from the town budget, this time for good. Thanks to the heroic efforts of Jason Zandri and a group of volunteers, funds were raised from private sources to ensure that the holiday spectacle would continue. They have successfully raised the funds each year, allowing the citizenry to enjoy a long-standing family tradition of coming together in civic pride and community spirit. Now, however, that too has come to an end.
This year, the volunteer group has decided that the responsibility for the fireworks display should once again be taken up by the town, as it has been for so many years in the past. To assist them in convincing the Mayor and Town Council to find a place for the fireworks in the budget, I have created an online petition to try to get as many signatures as possible in support of the town resuming funding of the fireworks display. The petition has been live for about 2 weeks now and has garnered over 800 signatures as of this writing.
Fireworks displays have become almost as synonymous with America as baseball and apple pie; they bring communities together in the spirit of patriotism and pride, and remind us of how far we’ve come in two and a half centuries. They also provide a vehicle for teaching our children about history and freedom, and to never take it for granted. If our tradition of celebrating the birth of our great nation was to be stripped from us, we are all diminished by it. John Adams, delegate from Massachusetts to the Second Continental Congress, wrote home to his wife Abigail that future generations would celebrate July 2, the date the Congress voted to approve Richard Henry Lee’s resolution declaring independence from Britain for 13 of the British colonies in America. He said:
While history has moved the importance of the event to the fourth of July instead of the second, Adams’ sentiment is no less valid.
If you would like to support us in our mission to save the Wallingford Fireworks, please feel free to sign the petition. You can access it by clicking on the image below, or by clicking this link:
Thank you, and God bless America!