BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Fireworks on this day normally symbolize our freedom, but for many veterans living with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the sound of fireworks can trigger reminders of war. Across the country, there's a call for courtesy. Signs are popping up on the front lawns of veterans' homes asking people to be courteous with fireworks.
There are no signs in Western New York now, but Chris Krieger of WNY Heroes, Inc. said they will likely come soon.
"I wanted WNY Heroes to get involved with that and do lawn signs, but with everything we had going on this year, it slipped our mind," he said.
Krieger hopes the signs create community awareness within neighborhoods.
"You could have a veteran living nearby who is not expecting the sound of gunfire from fireworks and that could cause an adverse reaction that you, too, are not going to expect," he explained. "I don't want to over dramatize and say they are probably going to hit the ground and start low crawling, but for many veterans who had it worse, there's a chance it will happen."
Krieger says the concern is more about fireworks being shot off in neighborhoods, opposed to big shows that can be heard miles away.
"If you're going to blow off your fireworks, maybe reach out and just say, 'hey, this is what we're looking to do' -- that could help the veteran," Krieger said.
He also said being courteous doesn't have to take away from any Independence Day festivity fun.
"I don't want to discourage anyone from enjoying the holiday, this is what our men and women died for, so we can enjoy the freedoms and you should celebrate them," said Krieger.
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