What We'll Celebrate
The awe-inspiring celebratory firework displays that provoke our excited oohs and aahs every Fourth of July owe their existence to a simple cooking accident in China some 2,000 years ago, when charcoal, sulfur and saltpeter were accidentally mixed together to produce what we now know as gunpowder.
In the 13th century, Marco Polo introduced gunpowder to Europe, and later the early settlers brought it to America where, like the settlers themselves, it gained new life and respectability.
According to legend, fireworks were first used in America on July 4, 1777, to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.
Unfortunately, this same gunpowder has been responsible for much tragedy and loss of life, including our 4,100 dead, and 180,000 disabled who were caught up in the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld "spread democracy" fireworks in the Mideast.
The ineffectiveness of this policy has surely caused Bush's policy of democracy and peace (his hoped-for legacy) to fizzle out like a wet firecracker.
Some spectators will regard the firework displays this Fourth of July as celebrations of independence from the British in July 1776, but many more will view them as a celebration of independence from Bush-Cheney in November 2008.
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