Recent news highlighted some cities eliminating firework shows and, instead, having laser light shows on Independence Day.

In 1814, at the battle at Fort McHenry, Francis Scott Key was inspired to write the "Star Spangled Banner." Do the words "and the rocket's red glare, the bomb bursting in air/gave proof through the night that our flag was still there" ring a bell?

We do live in the land of the free. Many veterans and servicemen then and now sacrificed their lives so Americans could have that freedom. Our public servants risk their lives everyday in the same way.

Cities are free to do whatever they want. Using lasers instead of a fireworks show on the Fourth of July yes, is safer, but disrespectful to the legacy of those brave men.

TOM CASTRO

Astoria

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