Pharos-Tribune

Breaking News

Opinion

July 4, 2013

OUR VIEW: Why we celebrate freedom

Communities across the United States will celebrate our nation’s 237th birthday today with speeches, parades and fireworks.

There’s another anniversary this week of note, one that helped ensure the United States would stay just that — united.

On a muggy July 1 morning in a small Pennsylvania town 150 years ago, the men of Confederate Gen. Henry Heth began moving toward Gettysburg.

They ran into dismounted cavalry under the command of Union Gen. John Buford, whose men included units from Illinois and Indiana.

Those first scattered shots that started even before 8 a.m. marked the beginning of what would become the largest battle of the Civil War and one of the true turning points in the conflict.

For three days — July 1-3 — the armies of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee and Union Gen. George Meade smashed together on the hills outside of Gettysburg. More than 160,000 men would find themselves locked in combat of the type few had imagined possible.

On the final day, when the smoke from Pickett’s Charge had cleared and the Confederate army withdrew to begin its retreat into Virginia, the carnage came into focus. More than 20,000 men had been wounded, with more than 7,000 killed during the three days of battle. In addition, more than 5,000 horses and mules also lay about the battlefield.

The Union victory, coupled with another Federal win at Vicksburg during the same week, marked the beginning of the rapid end for the Confederates.

Men had decided union — the United States of America — was worth fighting and dying to preserve. And the effort also led to the end of slavery, opening the door to freedom for all Americans.

Two Julys — one in 1776 and the other in 1863 — stand out in our nation’s history. Every American should celebrate the Fourth of July — our Independence Day — this week and every week. The freedom it represents should never be taken for granted.

— Danville (Ill.)

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • PARKER: It's time to take a joke, America In selecting Stephen Colbert to replace David Letterman as host of the "Late Show," CBS has waged war on America's Heartland -- or so proclaims that Palm Beach font of heartland mirth, Rush Limbaugh. Don't you believe it, Heartlanders. But wait, ther

    April 16, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Constitutional convention won't work today There seems to be a growing idea that we need a Constitutional convention. That, of course, is the other way to change the Constitution. Amendments have been used 27 times to make changes, ranging from limiting the president's term of office to the d

    April 16, 2014

  • KITCHELL: Forum about adding answers, subtracting questions A week from tonight, Logansport residents and those outside Logansport who purchase electricity from the Logansport Municipal Utilities will have a chance to find out some things for themselves. A free forum at McHale Performing Arts Center will feat

    April 16, 2014

  • PUBLIC FORUM: The people are losing control of its government The people are losing control of government President Obama and progressive Democrats and Republicans are changing the landscape of our country by bypassing our Constitution and what our forefathers fought and gave their lives for. Their philosophy c

    April 16, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Health care fraud can't go unchecked National health care spending tops $2.7 trillion annually. That leaves a lot of room, and temptation, for abuse of a bureaucracy that administers medical services. Medicare and Medicaid scams may cost taxpayers more than $98 billion each year. Health

    April 15, 2014

  • MARCUS: Truth is often unwelcome Jim Feelwright greeted me warmly as I entered the room: “Well, here he is, Mr. Negative.” Since it was a friendly meeting, I borrowed a famous line from the movies: “You can’t handle the truth.” “You,” he said, “just don’t want to see what’s really h

    April 15, 2014

  • VILLAGE IDIOT: Signs of spring finally upon us Today I saw my first crocus popping up after the long winter. It was in a picture a friend posted on Facebook. Suddenly, it seemed everyone was posting pictures of buds on trees, robins on the lawn, green shoots coming up in the garden. It was almost

    April 15, 2014

  • PUBLIC FORUM: Letters for Tuesday, April 15, 2014 Thankful to community for its care, prayers Thank you to Kyle Rans, Harrison-Metzger-Rans, Guardian Angels Hospice, Royal Center first responders and ambulance drivers for the gentle care and comforting words extended to our family. Thank you to the

    April 15, 2014

  • Brian Bosma BOSMA: House Republicans achieve legislative priorities When the General Assembly began its work last November, as Speaker I pledged a session driven by five main issues: increased road funding, enhanced job training, early childhood education, fair business taxation and cutting government red tape. With

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • LYONS: Taking pity on the Plutocrats "Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that belie

    April 14, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Should e-cigarette marketing be regulated like tobacco?

Yes
No
Unsure
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.