Independence Day, more commonly known as the Fourth of July, is the highlight of summer for many Americans. Families celebrate with barbeques, picnics, camping trips, fireworks and more.
The Fourth of July commemorates the publication of the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain in 1776. Patriotic displays and events can be found across the country.
Common community activities occurring on the Fourth of July include parades, hot dog or watermelon eating contests, festivals, sporting events, and impressive fireworks displays accompanied by patriotic music.
There is something special about celebrating Independence Day on a military base. The camaraderie and patriotism displayed by fellow military families makes the holiday all the more special! Most military bases have a day of fun-filled events planned and end the festivities with spectacular fireworks displays.
Remember the safety factor
While many find the 4th to be an amazing day and evening, most animals, small children and many of our vets do not enjoy this celebration and the fireworks.
Animals should have up to date microchips and ID tags. Prep your home (their safe haven) by providing a room with lighting that is the quietest from outside noise. ¬†Place their crate or bed in a small room where they can be safe and comfortable during the festivities along with a filled water bowl. You may want to include some lavender scented items that are out of reach to help with soothing. Check on your pet after the fireworks have stopped and reassure them that they are safe.
When it comes to babies, it’s always best to be prepared for anything. Smaller babies that become overstimulated by the sights, sounds and smells will typically sleep to escape. Older babies and children may not be able to do the same and you need to be prepared to leave the area should your child become upset. Watching from the car or from the safety of their home through a window can still be an enjoyable experience for everyone. ¬†The important part is that your child feels safe.
The fireworks, planned and unplanned, can be a big trigger for our vets. Unexpected pops and bangs can simply startle or throw someone into a full-blown PTSD/panic attack. If your spouse has deployed or has been diagnosed with PTSD, talk to them about the 4th and how they would like to celebrate the day. Remember that the fireworks may start well before the 4th and last for up to a week after, so a frank discussion now about how to handle those unexpected pops and bangs will help you both be prepared.
To find activities in your area, check with your local community or base resources or your local SargesList page for events!