Fourth of July events should be re-evaluated
The Fourth of July is probably America’s foremost holiday – our day to remember the brave men and women who have fought to keep our country free, from the shots fired at Lexington and Concorde to the present day.
It’s hard to see how that ties in with the disorder which followed the annual festivities at Donner Lake.
Following the annual fireworks show at West End Beach, law officers and community volunteers exerted their best efforts to maintain order and were barely successful.
Explain to the officer whose ankle was broken in three places, whose eye was blackened, whose body was bruised – exactly what the drunken brawl she and her partner interrupted had to do with the Fourth of July. Explain to her how the drunken mob which cursed and spat at officers, preventing an ambulance from coming to her aid, relates to Independence Day.
Tell the officers who drove to her aid, running a gauntlet of bottles and rocks, exactly what the curses of the drunken bystanders, the hurled objects and the drunken underage youths littering the roadways had to do with the spirit of patriotism we commemorate yearly.
Make it clear to the homeowners of Donner Lake, whose yards were filled with out-of-town vehicles and cluttered with drunken or stoned human refuse, exactly how their unwilling sacrifice honors our fight for liberty.
It is important that our community celebrate the Fourth of July, but perhaps it is time to revisit the manner in which we celebrate it. Community leaders and organizers need to meet and discuss the event, and deal with hard questions raised by the near-tragedy this year.
Can Truckee maintain its fireworks display as an event for our community and visiting families, with the huge crowds currently attending? Have the traffic and crowds grown beyond the control of local law enforcement and emergency authorities?
It is apparent that our Fourth of July celebration has already gained a reputation, outside of Truckee, as a time to come and party with little or no consequence. Out-of-town youths at the scene reportedly confronted officers and defied their authority directly.
Residents and merchants have to ask themselves – is the profit to our community in terms of sales tax dollars and sales at local shops worth the inconvenience and the potential liability the aftermath of this event brings yearly?
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