Patriotism of citizens lights up Lewes
Many who watched the fireworks in Lewes July 4 endured hours of traffic as they made their way out of town.
Tempers flared. Let's just say it was bad.
Still, temporary traffic delays should in no way diminish the triumph of the Go Fourth committee. These volunteers just refused to allow a second July 4 to pass without fireworks in Lewes.
Fireworks have been banned in Delaware since 1939, but for years, companies and individuals provided spectacular, illegal but generally tolerated, displays on Lewes Beach.
Last year, the Office of the State Fire Marshal stepped in to urge city officials to stop illegal fireworks, which had become the most notorious in the state.
That prompted the city to launch a largely successful campaign to end illegal fireworks – an effort that made sense from the point of view of safety, but one that flew in the face of Lewes' great, patriotic traditions, like the Doo-Dah and boat parades.
While city officials subsequently debated the cost of city-sponsored fireworks, a group of citizens stepped up and volunteered to raise the $45,000 needed for an official display. Their success was evident in the skies above Lewes July 4. Reflected on the water just after dusk, the display was spectacular.
It was viewed by thousands, watching from Roosevelt Inlet to Cape Henlopen State Park, part of what some said was the largest crowd that ever gathered in Lewes.
In times when many are discouraged by the deep partisan battles that divide us at the national level and also at the state and local levels, Lewes volunteers rallied. They came together to raise money and joined with chamber and city officials to plan the event.
In an inspiring display of their own patriotism and determination to do what needed to be done, Go Fourth Lewes brought together an entire community to celebrate our nation and the Declaration of Independence on which it is founded.
Congratulations to the committee, volunteers and first responders on a job well done.