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12 state parks offer fireworks-free Fourth of July celebrations for vets with PTSD


Veterans who prefer a quieter Fourth of July weekend can find fireworks-free celebrations at a dozen state parks between now and Sunday.

Park officials say the idea for the events came from conversations with veterans. They say the sound of loud fireworks can trigger distressing memories for many vets – especially those with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

“The reality is, if you’ve served in a combat zone or you’ve been around weapons-grade munitions, the fireworks sound exactly like a mortar round going off around your head. And, for a lot of guys, that’s just difficult to deal with,” said state Sen. David Knezek (D-Dearborn Heights), who served two tours of duty in Iraq as a marine.

Knezek is applauding state park officials for the move.

“While certainly no one’s going around asking for any special treatment, I just think it’s a really kind and considerate way to pay tribute to those veterans who helped fight for our freedom and allow them to enjoy Independence Day just as much as everybody else,” he said.

Here is a list of participating state parks:

Bewabic State Park (Iron County)

Brighton Recreation Area-Bishop Lake Campground (Livingston County)

Cheboygan State Park (Cheboygan County)

Craig Lake State Park (Baraga County)

Hayes State Park (Lenawee County)

Lake Hudson State Park (Lenawee County)

Leelanau State Park (Leelanau County)

Menominee River State Recreation Area (Dickinson County)

Orchard Beach State Park (Manistee County)

Rifle River Recreation Area (Ogemaw County)

Sleepy Hollow State Park (Clinton County)

Wells State Park (Menominee County)

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