Again, we have reached that time of year when the "faithful sons and daughters of America" are full of righteous derision for those of us who choose to celebrate the War of 1812 in a limited way. They commonly refer to The United States of America as America, even though we have no legal claim to Canada, Mexico, Central or South America.
They refer to the lines Francis Scott Key wrote on "the rockets' red glare" and "bombs bursting in air" as permission to keep the rest of us awake for a week before the event and a week after. They even save a few rockets and bombs for New Year's Eve just to remind us that they are "still there."
I have no problem with fireworks on the Fourth of July, but how about limiting the time for such activities to the length of the battle for Fort McHenry -- 6 a.m. on Sept. 13, 1814, until the next morning, about 25 hours. Is that enough time for you folks to celebrate your patriotism? It was for those who fought the battle.
By the way, I have my patriotic bona fides -- Vietnam 1968 to 1969, and I have the scars to prove it.