All summer Mainers have been celebrating with their right to shoot off fireworks. Loud bangs, whizzes and pops can be heard over miles in the night air. I’m as excited about the fireworks shows as most. I’m always at the Summerfest fireworks at camp I run out on the fourth of July to see the colors.
As I’m running toward the best viewing area, my brother-in-law and many other soldiers as well as dogs are running to the bathroom medicine cabinet and a padded room to blot out the sounds. On the fourth, the same people we honor, those who protect our freedoms, are the ones who can’t stand the loud noises and bangs. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder has them running for something to stop flashbacks to active combat zones.
There are the serious cases like the ones above, but there are also the stories of people who want to go to bed early because they have to work in the morning. So when the neighbors are out exercising their rights to celebrate with fireworks, they are also keeping the couple next door awake.
What if the nice elderly couple next door got up at 5 a.m. and started playing their music extra loud, or rev the engine of their muscle car? Wouldn’t that make late night partiers upset? Is it fair to keep them up late and expect them to be quiet in the a.m. The double standard is beginning to cause a problem for residents of Windham who feel that the fireworks ordinances are too flexible and are not fair to taxpayers who only want to enjoy the lake and some peace and quiet in nature.
On the flipside, vacationers who dropped hundreds of dollars at the fireworks stores that have popped up overnight want to have a place to shoot off their purchases.
It’s a catch-22. What side do you fall on?