Letters to the Editor

One large fireworks display is best for island | LETTER TO THE EDITOR

To the editor:

“...but I will defend to the death her right to say it.”

In reply to Ms. Franks message suggesting our Independence Day fireworks are a waste of money and should be put to better use other ways: I applaud Ms. Franks voicing her contrary opinion and fully support her right to hold it. It is her right and freedom under this democracy to do so!

And hopefully it will be self-evident to all that this very voicing of divergent opinions is what we are celebrating with this holiday and fireworks display - that which has been fought for, defended and sacrificed for through the ages, generations and conflicts by countless men and women.

It is also noteworthy that having the display at all is one of a very democratic process. That our community as a whole decides whether we have the show is determined by a cross-section of our community voting their support through their contributions. Those of us organizing do only that - we use the funds of the community to put on their display.

But to Ms. Franks position that the donated funds should be spent elsewhere - truly, what celebration isn’t an expenditure of time, energy and funds purely for the purpose of recognizing an accomplishment or milestone? So to re-purpose the donated funds as suggested would be to not celebrate the occasion. These numerous business and individuals chose this purpose for this money.

Further, regarding the stress to people and animals of the display; in an effort to be as safe and responsible as possible, we found that:

There are no nesting eagles or any other protected wildlife in the vicinity of Pritchard Park (confirmed by local wildlife experts);

Having one public display rather than a plethora of private displays is overall less impactful to wildlife (confirmed by local wildlife experts);

Having notice of a public display gives pet owners the opportunity to adequately prepare their pets and themselves;

One large, professionally-staged public display reduces the number of private displays, thereby decreasing the number of fires and injuries caused unsafe practices (generally accepted but also confirmed by local public safety officials).

In total, it is a net benefit to hold the one large public display than the alternative.

Finally, I would like to clarify that while the current generation of fireworks displays was started under the auspices of the Bainbridge Island Yacht Club, it is currently organized as a Washington state-registered nonprofit corporation whose sole function is the organization of this event. And since the funding comes from the community at-large, the community of Bainbridge Island essentially “owns” this display. So long as it is the collective will of the community, as evidenced by their financial support, it will continue.

Please visit our website at www.BainbridgeFireworks.org to find more detail about these and other useful topics related to our display, and for ways to donate, if you are so compelled.

God Bless you, Ms. Franks, and I hope you enjoy Independence Day in a way meaningful to you.


Bainbridge Island

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