March 27, 2013 9:54:45 AM
Monday's announcement that Columbus Air Force Base is bringing back its Fourth of July fireworks show is something everyone can agree is a good thing.
In fact, that everyone can agree on anything these days should be considered a good thing.
CAFB will host the fireworks show on the east bank of the John C. Stennis Lock and Dam. The event is a collaboration among the CAFB, the City of Columbus, Lowndes County, the Columbus-Lowndes Convention and Visitors Bureau and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Although the plans have yet to be completed, the event is expected to start around 4 p.m. and will feature live music, children's activities and food/drink vendors. The fireworks will commence about a half-hour after sundown.
The fireworks show began in 2006, but was suspended the last two years. In our view, the timing of its return could not be better.
It seems now more than ever, we are divided on many things. But love of country and patriotic zeal are not the exclusive domain of any one group. Too often, the stars and stripes have been used to batter those with differing political views. But the red, white and blue should not leave fellow Americans black and blue. Patriotism is only cheapened when it is used as a weapon to score political points. It is a mean-spirited tactic that dishonors our country.
Naturally, Americans will be at odds on matters of politics. It has always been that way. There were probably no greater political rivals in U.S. history than Jefferson and Hamilton. While they argued passionately and made all sorts of inflammatory accusations, neither Jefferson nor Hamilton would have ever dreamed of challenging the other party's love of country. They were both Founding Fathers, after all. Much as it is today, they both wanted what was best for the country, but fought ferociously over what that might be.
As ideological descendants of both Jefferson and Hamilton, we may disagree bitterly, but we share a common love of country. When the political fever is high, it's often easy to forget that.
That is why this year's Fourth of July event is not just a pleasant diversion on a sultry summer evening, but a valuable reminder that Americans can put aside their differences for a while, wrap ourselves in red, white and blue and enjoy this most American of holidays.
We look forward to sitting on the banks of the Tombigbee with our friends and neighbors, listening to music, watching the children play and fighting -- not among ourselves- but against a common enemy: mosquitoes.