[Note: The Bellingham City Council’s Public Works and Safety Committee today voted to move the discussion of a draft fireworks ban ordinance to the full Council Meeting this evening with a possible public hearing on the topic in a few weeks. In order for an ordinance to take effect by next July 4th, the council would have to approve the law prior to July 4th of this year. Councilmembers Snapp and Knutson spoke in favor of the draft ordinance. You can read that draft here. Council Bornemann seemed content to take measures only to strengthen the current ordinance and wondered if there might be too much of a “nanny” element to a full ban on fireworks.]
Although it is too late to ban those miserable, noisy, dangerous and useless fireworks this year, Bellingham residents can show their solidarity with our veterans, especially those who are disabled, by using money, normally spent enriching the manufacturers and distributors of fireworks, to provide support to organizations that make a difference in the lives of our soldiers. $50 or $100 not spent on fireworks can go a long way toward supporting organizations that provide outreach and assistance to disabled veterans who, by and large, find that the federal government and military that sent them to war, now have all but abandoned them as they return home. New Horizons (click here) lists a variety of organizations that assist with education, benefits, health care, financial support, housing, mental health and employment for vets. (This is not an endorsement of any particular group.) Families may also consider spending part of the 4th of July with their children writing to our elected officials, demanding adequate funding of programs to assist those soliders who put their lives on the line so that we may celebrate in peace.