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Editorial: Happy Independence Day
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There is nothing like a grand July Fourth celebration to mark the height of summer. This weekend, as we celebrate the birthday of our nation, make sure you enjoy this weekend responsibly. The last thing anyone wants, after wonderful holiday weekend, is to end up in the hospital, or worse.

When you get behind the wheel, buckle your seat belt, think and drive defensively. We do not need to lose anyone in our community due to a car accident - much less anymore of our bright young people - for any reason.

With so many holiday parties and events, make sure you have a designated driver who can bring you back home safely after all the fun is over. Parents, make sure your kids know who they can call if they need a ride, no questions asked. The consequences of your teen having too much fun can be dealt with after they are out of danger. 

With all the parades and parade viewers, be aware of pedestrians.

And with this year's new fireworks laws, have fun but don't be a knucklehead. Keep it on private property. Remember a few common sense rules - read and follow the directions on the label, use fireworks outdoors in a safe, non-wooden area, have a working garden hose or bucket of water handy, keep a safe distance, light only one at a time, don't re-ignite a firework that doesn’t light the first time, don't shoot fireworks in metal or glass containers, and wear safety glasses when igniting fireworks.

Also, if you see a military serviceman or servicewoman or an officer, stop and thank them for protecting our freedoms and making it possible to celebrate July Fourth with our loved ones.

Happy Independence Day.