My first conscious experience with celebratory fire was in July 2003 in Baghdad when Iraqis celebrated the deaths of Uday and Qusay Hussein (Saddam’s two sons).
At the time, I was working the night shift at Camp Victory and while walking back to my sleeping tent (I almost called it home) with two co-workers. The sky was lit up with celebratory gunfire and in the video only the tracer rounds are visible. All we wanted to do was sleep, and we were used to ignoring the booms, so we walked the half mile together, along the road with no shelter and watched as the rounds flew above us.
Immediately I thought how uneducated and uncultured the Iraqis must be not to realize what goes up must come down and those rounds absolutely would come down somewhere and could/and did injure and kill people. It seemed like a scary and terrible way to celebrate.
All these years later, I realize I have been hearing celebratory fire every fourth of July and now have a legitimate hatred for fireworks and especially for the amateurs who insist on setting their own explosions off. Stupidity doesn’t discriminate.