Pharos-Tribune

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
  • WILLIAMS: Life is not all choices There is a post on Facebook that says, “Everything you do is based on the choices you make. It’s not your parents, your past relationships, your job, the economy, the weather, an argument or your age that is to blame. You and only you are responsible

    August 21, 2014

  • PUBLIC FORUM: Reining in unlimited farm subsidies Reining in unlimitedfarm subsidiesIn January, President Obama declared that despite Congressional logjams, “America does not stand still — and neither will I. So wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for Ame

    August 21, 2014

  • HAMILTON: Why government openness matters One of the fundamental lessons of the 9/11 tragedy was that our government carried a share of blame for the failure to stop the attacks. Not because it was asleep at the switch or ignorant of the dangers that Al Qaeda posed, but because the agencies

    August 21, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Continue work of modernizing courts Indiana’s new chief justice, Loretta Rush, has a lot on her plate. She not only has to preside over the Indiana Supreme Court, but also to modernize the state’s other courts as well.Indiana is well on its way toward bringing courts into the 21st cent

    August 21, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Mo-ped law long overdue We’ve all seen them on the streets, and their popularity is only growing. Mo-peds have coasted in a legal grey area for years in Indiana.A lack of registration, testing and licensure allowed those without other means of transport to join other vehicl

    August 20, 2014

  • KITCHELL: Quality of life and leaders both matter It was with some astonishment and much disappointment I read in the Aug. 5 edition of the Pharos-Tribune that one of our local city councilmen was quoted as saying that previous efforts in Logansport to use Tax Increment Financing money for quality o

    August 20, 2014

  • RAMPELL: Here comes Entrepreneur Barbie WASHINGTON — Lego’s groundbreaking female-scientists set sold out almost immediately after it was released this month. But never fear, fans of feminist toys: A new Barbie doll, now in stock, is also shattering the plastic ceiling.Yes, that swan-necke

    August 20, 2014

  • OUR VIEW: Police force turning into military? The images this week of Ferguson, Mo., in the wake of the civil unrest caused by the death of unarmed African-American teenager Michael Brown have been shocking to say the least. Were the dateline removed from the pictures, one could easily imagine t

    August 19, 2014

  • MARCUS: Hoosier workers not gaining on the nation A few readers of the South Bend newspaper have sent emails complaining that either they do not understand my columns or that I waste their time by not sticking to the facts. That I include some of my conclusions from the data seems to be an irritant.

    August 19, 2014

  • VILLAGE IDIOT: Stock market guru will work for food At the height of its power, the photography company Kodak employed more than 140,000 people and was worth $28 billion dollars. They even invented the first digital camera. But today Kodak is bankrupt, and the new face of digital photography has becom

    August 19, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

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

Does Indiana need a statewide water management plan and an administrator to implement it?

Yes
No
Unsure
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
US: We Do Not Pay Ransom to Terrorists Ferguson Teachers Training to Deal With Trauma Jon Hamm on the Unrest in Ferguson Tit for Tat? McDonald's Shuttered in Moscow Life on the Professional Video Game Circuit TX Gov Perry in Washington: 'Confident' in Case Hospital Releases Two Missionaries Who Had Ebola Ramen Health Risks: The Dark Side of the Noodle NYC Doctor-in-chief Seeks Community Approach Indonesian Police Fire Tear Gas at Protesters Raw: Shots Fired in Liberian Shantytown DOJ, Bank of America Reach Record Settlement Raw: Cubavision Airs Images of Fidel Castro Raw: Grief After Deadly Airstrikes in Gaza Officer Who Pointed Gun at Protesters Suspended Kathy Griffin Challenges Minaj to 'a Booty Off' Johnson: Six Arrests, No Tear Gas in Ferguson Raw: Rescue, Relief Efforts at Japan Landslide Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream California Drought Stings Honeybees, Beekeepers
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.