On the day we mark the birth of our nation, we also have several unresolved debates, including how we celebrate.
While fireworks have been a part of the celebration for decades, some advocate the end to fireworks, even legal displays.
The fear that noise and lights from fireworks brings to animals, domestic and wild, is enough to make us stop and think.
Many pet owners have seen how frightened their animals become during fireworks. Dogs and horses have been known to injure themselves as they try to run away in fright. Birds often take flight at the initial sound and many break their necks or smash their skulls as they fly in the darkness and in terror.
Smoke from fireworks contains toxins that raise air pollution levels — bad for animals, including humans.
A 2010 study found the toxins and air pollution created by fireworks consistently trigger spikes in human illness and deaths, mostly from respiratory and cardiovascular causes, according to Forbes.com. People who suffer from asthma can experience discomfort and epileptics can experience seizures following fireworks displays.
The casings and other bits left after fireworks have detonated litters the area with a variety of toxins, where they can poison birds, wildlife and children for a long time after the fireworks themselves have been forgotten.
As much fun as fireworks are for most of us, there are those who need our consideration, not just on Independence Day, but every day. The fireworks debate is a microcosm of the issues we debate every day. Whether that debate is about whose lives matter or whether wearing a mask should be required, the answers would be much easier to find if we had more compassion for others creatures, great or small.