, Newburyport, MA

July 1, 2013

Fireworks store not to blame for Marathon bombings

Newburyport Daily News

---- — To the editor:

I’m the manager of Phantom Fireworks in Seabrook. These words I am writing are my personal opinion. I’ve been in Phantom’s employ for 24 years and am extremely proud of the company I work for. First and foremost, I am an American and proud of that also.

Our company has been the target of a lot of negative publicity since the Boston Marathon bombing as we had the misfortune to be the only store open in Seabrook on Feb. 6 when a terrorist came to town and made a purchase at our store. The product that we sell is top quality and approved on many federal, state and local levels before it goes onto our shelves, Consumer Product Safety Commission being one of those agencies. We only sell top-quality, approved for the consumer product. If not for our company keeping strict records of who purchases at our store, no one would even know that he was here at all. I don’t use his name as he is not deserving of having one. Our corporate offices, upon learning of the bombing, went into our records to search for their names. They immediately alerted the FBI to let them know and to offer any assistance because that is how we operate.

Phantom Fireworks is a highly professional, responsible and respected member of the fireworks industry and I don’t take lightly the reputation that some tabloid news (that should get their facts straight before reporting them) along with other individuals are trying to put upon us. We are being slammed for doing the same advertising for our yearly season that we have done for over 20 years and being called insensitive because of it. I assure you that each member of this company is 100 percent supportive, sensitive and compassionate to the many victims who were killed or maimed along with their families and friends. I would like all to remember that his purchase consisted of two small kits that cost $200 total and couldn’t even begin to be what caused that horrible tragedy.

The first and most important use for the product we sell is celebrating the birth of our fine nation and I don’t believe that we should not advertise or sell our product because some disgusting individual with a diseased mind chose to do what he and his brother did. That would be letting the terrorists win. Maybe we should have closed Logan International because terrorists chose to fly out of there on Sept. 11, 2001. Is this really what people want, to let them win by changing the American way of life? Let’s also not forget the nails and pressure cookers, etc., that were used in the construction of their deadly bombs. Are you asking that those companies stop advertising the sale of their product? This would include all lumber yards and thousands of retail businesses. If any of you are using common sense, then I would think not. We are a great company with many fine, upstanding individuals employed here. We are all proud Americans who refuse to let terrorism stop our way of life.

April Walton