I recently posted about my simple requests for a happy July 4th but forgot to mention the importantance of reflecting this time of year. This dawned on me last night while watching Saving Private Ryan. Every year sometime between Memorial Day and July 4th I like to watch a good American war flick. I know a movie could never truly give a guy like me, who has never officially served our country, an insight into what that’s like but it helps me remember why I have the rights and freedoms I do.

Saving Private Ryan is a classic. I know it’s only a movie, but a movie like that will make me wonder and marvel at how so many are prepared to die for our beautiful country. From the opening scene (the blood bath on that French beach) I get overcome with emotion. There are no words to describe my eternal gratitude for those who have served or are currently serving. A good friend of mine is currently on his second tour overseas right now in Afghanistan. There hasn’t been a day since that I haven’t thought about him and his well being. I can’t wait until he returns home and I can attempt to thank him again.

It is always important to respect and honor our servicemen and women but this time of year is specifically set up for that purpose. So have a blast this weekend (pun legitimately not intended there) but remember why you are able to light off fireworks and drink and be merry. Last but not least, be safe! (don’t light off those fireworks while drinking merrily).

Bozeman has released their firework guidelines:

Fireworks hours:

July 3 – 12 p.m. to 12 a.m.

July 4 – 12 p.m. to 1 a.m.

July 5 – 12 p.m. to 12 a.m.

Do not light fireworks by:

Major streets

Within 300 feet of public parks

Within 1,000 feet of hospitals, nursing homes or assisted living facilities

Under motor vehicles

Within 300 feet of gas stations

Guidelines for types of fireworks:

They may go no higher than 15 feet

Sparklers have to be less than 12 inches in length

Wheel devices may have no more than six driver units

In Belgrade:

Fireworks, as defined under state law, are allowed from 10 a.m. until 11 p.m. July 1st through July 5th. Fireworks are not allowed on school or park p