Sample Definition Essay


The Bombs Bursting in Air

Hiding behind a fence post, my dad prepared to fire his next missile. Careful not to expose too much of his body, he would survey the area for his enemy. One could see the look of determination in his eyes when he spotted his target. He would load his barrel, light the fuse, and take aim. Only the screams of his adversary were indications of his accuracy. Although brave, my father is not a war hero. He is simply a survivor of the bottle rocket duel with my uncle. Fireworks play an important part of celebration in my family and the families of many other Americans; fireworks mean many different things to people of all ages.
The history of fireworks goes back to China thousands of years before Christ. The first firecrackers were actually chunks of green bamboo. When there was no available wood, these chunks were used as fuel in a fire and would explode soon after heating up. These primitive explosives then became an important part of Chinese culture and were used in many different public displays. Although they were basically just ways of having fun, these explosives soon developed into more advanced weapons and explosives.
Fireworks are now used to celebrate the independence of our country. The tradition of setting off fireworks on Independence Day started one year after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Symbolic of the rockets’ red glare and the bombs bursting in air, they remind of us what our forefathers had to endure in war for their independence from Britain. They are also used to observe many other important events. New Years Day is just one of many holidays, along with many private celebrations, that are usually celebrated with fireworks.
The most simple of all of our patriotic bombs is the firecracker. A firecracker is a small, slender tube that resembles a cigarette. It is in essence a downscaled pipe bomb. It is a roll of paper with a small amount of gunpowder wrapped up inside of it. A fuse is placed in one end and the other end is sealed. When the fuse is lit, it burns down to the powder quite quickly. As soon as the burning fuse makes contact with the explosive, it ignites and burns so rapidly that it forces the roll of paper to burst.
There are many different kinds of fireworks, but all of them are modeled after various weapons used in war. Fireworks are modeled after everything from small explosives to heavy artillery. We even have bottle rockets that are small missiles shot into the air and explode when the fuel that propels it upward burns out. The bombs used at community celebrations are perhaps the most amazing and expensive of all pyrotechnic displays. A shell larger than a grenade is launched into the air, explodes, and scatters small, colorful balls of fire every direction along with a percussion that can set off car alarms.
I remember always anticipating Independence Day, hoping that I would get to set off fireworks. Although all they were to me when I was young was another amusing way to play with fire, fireworks have taken on a whole new meaning to me. Now, I have a reason to get together with my family and friends. I can reminisce about fun times I have had in the past and create new memories that I know will last. They make me think about the time my dad and uncle had their own small war simulation shooting bottle rockets at each other. I remember my cousins teaching me how to break firecrackers open and pile all the powder into one tube, light it, and watch it explode without even getting burned. I can almost still smell the smoke from when I was out sitting on a blanket with my mom watching the city’s fireworks display. My grandfather and I enjoyed spending time together while getting the tables and chairs ready for the whole family.
Many of my most memorable experiences have come from fireworks. Everyone has something seemingly insignificant that has played an important role in his or her life, and for me it is fireworks.