My wife had a profound observation. For July 4th, Independence Day in the US, Americans celebrate with fireworks, and what these fireworks are meant to represent, i.e., “bombs bursting in air” as they are referenced in the national anthem, is actual bombs and weapons of war. What this implies is that for Americans, bombs and explosions represent liberty and independence. Every year, this connection is reinforced — a latent celebration of militarism. It’s little surprise then that Americans have trouble recognizing that dropping bombs on people around the world does little to “liberate” them. All around the world, real fireworks are incinerating innocent people and thousands of miles away, the American public is celebrating with the colorful, harmless versions. Obviously, the average American probably is not making that connection and only wants to be entertained with a dazzling pyrotechnic display, but the underlying symbols are still there and they still have an effect on people, even if subconsciously.