Posted by Deborah Bailin, DVBIC Public Affairs on June 29, 2016
From the top of a hill in my northwest neighborhood in the District of Columbia, you can see the U.S. Capitol in the distance. On the Fourth of July, many of my neighbors gather here as the sun sets to watch the national fireworks display.
The dome of the Capitol, illuminated beneath the fireworks’ spectacular bursts of color, reminds us why we do this every year — our freedom, the fight for it and the lasting need to defend it.
PTSD and Fireworks
For days before and after the official celebration, spontaneous neighborhood festivities abound. Sparklers amuse children. Firecrackers and roman candles entertain teenagers and adults. Smoke and the smell of gunpowder linger in the summer heat, blending with the smell of backyard barbecue.
Although patriotic in spirit, impromptu fireworks do not ignite universal delight. These unexpected explosions cause some service members and combat veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to experience overwhelming anxiety.