Now is the time for one of Norwalk's many wonderful, civic-minded organizations to step up and go above and beyond the normal scope of their work.
Norwalk is in danger of going through the Fourth of July celebration without fireworks this year. The Jaycees announced in January that because the burden raising the $13,000 it takes to put on the fireworks display is too great (even with $3,000 guaranteed from the city) it would be moving in a different direction. Since then, the city has contacted several service organizations in hopes their patriotic sensibilities would be stirred and they would serve as the cavalry, riding to the city's rescue.
Alas, there have been no takers so far and the city's last hope might rest on the shoulders of the Norwalk Veterans of Foreign Wars. The group will meet April 11 to decide if they have the resources both in terms of finances and personnel to take on the daunting responsibility.
We hope the VFW will be able to assume the task. Fireworks might seem trivial to some cynics, especially with larger displays available in Toledo, Cleveland and even Sandusky, but many families lack the resources or ability to pack the family up and head to the big city. And, more importantly, having a local fireworks show helps breed a sense of community pride and togetherness that is crucial for communities like Norwalk.
If the VFW decides it cannot run the gantlet, we encourage any organization or possibly a coalition of civic organizations that thinks it might be able to do so to contact Safety Service Director Dale Sheppard or Mayor Sue Lesch at city hall, (419) 663-6700. It might be a thankless, difficult endeavor, but the smiling faces of Norwalk's residents, both young and old, enjoying the yearly display can make it all worthwhile.