Sparks fly with independence

Posted 7/6/22

I don’t know about y’all, but I certainly do love attending July Fourth celebrations. From the cookouts, the ice cream socials to the fireworks displays and patriotic events, they bring …

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Sparks fly with independence

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I don’t know about y’all, but I certainly do love attending July Fourth celebrations. From the cookouts, the ice cream socials to the fireworks displays and patriotic events, they bring so much fun, joy and laughter for us spectators.

Most years, we ring in the July Fourth holiday at the beach. And, yes, of course, those festive firework displays have become ubiquitous for kicking off the patriotic fanfare. Despite the impending Tropical Storm Colin inching its way up the East Coast this weekend, we, thankfully, were able to take in a couple of July Fourth festivities including the fireworks.

Did you realize that the ritual of setting off fireworks on Independence Day dates back to 1776? They were catapulted into the air following the signing of the Declaration of Independence — recognizing the colonies’ newfound freedom from the British monarchy. A cannon aboard a ship docked in the Philadelphia harbor fired a 13-gun salute symbolizing the freedom acquired by the 13 original colonies.

In addition to the fireworks, what worked so well this weekend is that the coastal towns actually stagger their holiday events, affording partygoers to attend several events within a three-day stint — weather permitting. What a festive way to celebrate our nation and our personal freedoms.

And, speaking of parties, I bet sparks flew when a Florida couple were summoned back home by police officials this past week. Get this: More than 200 teenagers hosted a raucous, pre-Fourth, unsanctioned house party inside their Watercolor, Florida, mansion up for sale.

The teens actually broke into their $8 million mansion while the owners and their two kids had been away on a family vacation!

Walton County authorities responded to 911 calls from residents complaining of obnoxiously loud noises during the evening hours. When police officials arrived, many of the 200 absconders fled after the luxury home had been burglarized and ransacked.

Those homeowners returned to the mansion where they found their premises vandalized. While assessing damages, they discovered designer handbags, including a $3,500 YSL purse, missing; the culprits had guzzled a $1,500 bottle of champagne; and made off with thousands of dollars worth of valuable jewelry.

The property owners — considered avid wine collectors — found their extensive cellar had not only been raided, but also vandalized. Their son’s PlayStation and video games were reportedly hauled away.

The residents discovered videos on social media where the teens had tried on several of their garments including formal and casual dresses, shoes and even their swimsuits. Just yeckkkkk…

The vandals went into their daughter’s room — where she collected American Girl memorabilia — destroying her dolls, ripping their clothes and tossing some atop the roof of their residence. Ughhh…

The chaos didn’t stop there.

Police officials spotted livestream videos of a makeshift boxing ring where two teens destructively fought for some time in their plush foyer. I couldn’t believe the video I saw where dozens of kids crowded around the would-be boxing ring, cheering and egging on the fighters.

The vandals actually posted videos inside the couple’s main bedroom, too, trying on expensive rings and other pieces of jewelry.

Florida police officials are continuing to comb through social media outlets, preparing to arrest all of the responsible parties. The homeowners are insistent on all trespassers being held accountable for their actions. They very well should. There is absolutely no excuse for what those kids did.

I guess they have failed to heed the words of the late Peter Marshall, who served as pastor of a Presbyterian church and chaplain of the U.S. Senate. In regards to Independence Day, Pastor Marshall wrote, “May we think of freedom — not as a right to do as we please — but, as the opportunity to do what is right.”

Sometimes freedom can be too free, huh?

Kim Lambert is a former reporter with The Daily Record and former editor of The Angier Independent.

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