Noise from illegal fireworks harms veterans with PTSD

Jun 18, 2017

To the Editor:

It's almost Independence Day again! Fourth of July!

Cookouts, beach parties, good times with family and friends topped off by beautiful fireworks displays by towns authorized to put on a show under a controlled environment.

Although fireworks are illegal in Massachusetts, and those highway signs flash FIREWORKS ARE ILLEGAL to make anyone think twice about setting them off, reality is that there is very little law enforcement directed at individuals. They basically have the freedom to do whatever they want wherever and whenever they want with no consequence.

What if those individuals were to respect our veterans who are beside themselves with fear as a result of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) every time fireworks are set off close by? These people are able to plan on not being around when the controlled displays are scheduled at a certain time. They can not deal with a barrage of fireworks or even one loud one set off at someone’s whimsy.

A tremendous blast set off at 2 a.m. beside a veteran’s home should never happen and should be penalized.

What if that kid or adult or group (that gets a big kick out of setting off whatever fireworks make the most noise possible for as long as possible) paused for a moment and thought about what our veterans sacrificed for ALL OF US so that we could enjoy our freedom every single day of our lives?

What if those individuals respected babies sleeping (and their mothers who have to deal with the after effects of fireworks noise), those who are seriously ill and the elderly who need peace and quiet?

What if those individuals thought about every dog, cat, horse and all pets, let alone animals in the wild, who only need to hear one BOOM to set them off in fear and spoil the duration of their day/night and the day/night of everyone who lives with them?

Why are we forced, in our own homes, to be totally distressed at the expense of these individuals?

NOT just on the Fourth of July. This is an ongoing issue from May through September at ANY TIME! Midnight, noontime, you name it. Especially for those of us who live on the waterfront. Any peaceful summer day or night can be rocked into chaos with just one loud boom, commonly known as a SALUTE (loudest, most dangerous one of all).

During these stressful times of unexpected violent attacks on human life, we all need our safe havens. And those safe havens should always be our own homes.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE give some thought to all of the above, share it as much as you can with everyone possible, and speak up against illegal fireworks.

You can google PTSD and Fireworks to further understand the effects. Here is just one link:

We can all help change this out-of-control situation together.

God Bless America,

Debbie Mackertich


Comments (10)
Posted by: sadie | Jun 19, 2017 07:33

thank you for your post. You are right this problem has to start from the top. It seems fireworks are not a priority besides the problems you list they are dangerous. I'm going to make a wild guess and suggest that most of thee people who shoot  these off have had a few drinks.

I live in Onset if the bike police would cruise down west blvd they would catch people setting off fireworks, the day Onset has its fireworks and July 4th and as you stated through most of the summer.

I don't know what the fine is but I'm sure the town would make a lot of money if enforced. The TA and the selectmen have make it known that the town will not tolerate these fireworks.  

Posted by: Turtleltl14 | Jun 19, 2017 19:44

47 States allow all commercial fireworks or some kind of fireworks. How do we survive?

Posted by: Janet | Jun 20, 2017 07:05

Turtletl14 - the operative word in your post is "commercial".  Sadie + the article by Debbie were discussing PRIVATE citizens especially those who light fireworks off in NEIGHBORHOODS are breaking the law.  The chief and officers need to squash these illegal fireworks before some person or child is injured.  This is a serious matter in the neighborhoods around Nanumett Heights!!!

Posted by: Janet | Jun 20, 2017 07:07

And these illegal fireworks are NOT at the beach.  They are one or two houses from my front door.

Posted by: Spherebreaker | Jun 20, 2017 07:48

First flavored tobacco is banned now I cant use fire crackers to blow up sandcastles,tunnel complexes and matchbox cars anymore, this Town is becoming a drag. Whats next, a ban on playing cards on my spokes?

Posted by: desertsky | Jun 20, 2017 10:04

I sympathize with the Onset homeowners who have to endure the illegal fireworks whether they want to or not. Yes, the scheduled town display is legal and if you enjoy them you can go see them. If you live in an area where it is allowed to continue well into the summer, it must be more than a little annoying. Spherebreaker, we don't know if this person is a veteran...she or her husband could be one of the PTSD victims. I'm all for legal fireworks in designated areas...I live in the neighborhood with Chief Walsh and I can assure you we have NO illegal fireworks around here. Too bad Onset doesn't get the same courtesy.

Posted by: Turtleltl14 | Jun 20, 2017 12:12

Janet... commercial means over the counter. Professional are the big boys used in large displays not available to the public.


Posted by: Chaka | Jun 21, 2017 21:59

We have a local Onset idiot who likes to set off the occasional M80 at midnight . Don't worry, it doesn't affect his sleep. He sells drugs from 5-10 pm, So its his after work relax time.

Posted by: Bluebell3333 | Jun 24, 2017 06:14

The fireworks disturb the veterans? Really? I am pretty certain that we have veterans living in every state that allows fireworks. Why is it that this only suggests that illegal fireworks harm people with ptsd? This is obviously a buck of nonsense being spread by a few people who like to go to bed before the sun goes down.

Posted by: Janet | Jun 24, 2017 09:15

bluebell - It doesn't matter when you go to bed, there is no need of illegal fireworks and M80's going off at all hours of the night at all!!  It goes on most nights beginning the week before the 4th and many weeks following.  Just when you are ready to doze off again, BANG, and you are scared out of bed because with your windows opened, it sounds like the racket is just outside your window.  I had requested a cruiser to just swing by every now and then but came up with nothing except "they should take it to the beach like the older residents used to do...It must be nice that some neighborhoods don't have to put up with noise after the magic hour of "No Noise" or any fireworks, roman candles m80's at all.

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