The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Editorials

June 30, 2013

Celebrate freedom

DANVILLE — Communities across the United States prepare to celebrate our nation’s 237th birthday on Thursday 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.

1
Text Only
Editorials
  • Students need support Fathers — or grandfathers, uncles, cousins, friends and even older brothers — can send a powerful message to young students by participating in Monday’s Million Father March at area schools.Danville District 118 schools, in partnership with the Black

    August 17, 2014

  • Look out for school buses Next week, Vermilion County students will head back into their classrooms to begin another year of learning. Their counterparts in other areas already have started the new school year.With the beginning of school comes the reminder for motorists to w

    August 16, 2014

  • State money helps arena Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn stopped in Danville last week to drop off an $850,000 gift to help pay for renovations at the David S. Palmer Civic Center. From the description of plans in the works from arena director Pete Blackmon, it sounds like the money

    August 14, 2014

  • Trail plan holds potential Plans to create the 24-mile Kickapoo Trail from Vermilion County’s Kickapoo State Park west to Urbana received a real — well, kick — forward recently when Illinois officials announced they had reached a deal to purchased a key piece of land.More mone

    August 10, 2014

  • Thanks to Quaker Oats Today marked the final Breakfast in the Park for the summer. Sponsored by Quaker Oats through its manufacturing facility in Danville, the program provided a free, healthy breakfast to children regardless of their economic status.The free breakfast ha

    August 8, 2014

  • Help support conservation The Vermilion County Conservation District invites area residents to enjoy its annual fundraiser, Cheeserburgers and Fun, coming up Saturday at Kennekuk County Park west of Danville. The day will be full of music, food and entertainment. Proceeds go

    August 6, 2014

  • Be a part of the solution Several Danville neighborhoods — along with those in Champaign, Urbana, Chicago and other cities — know the sound of gunfire all too well. Just last week, Danville police investigated another shooting incident.Rightly so, many people speak out agains

    August 3, 2014

  • Georgetown's fair a good one Saturday kicks off one of the largest events of the summer, as the Georgetown Fair begins. The eight-day fair always attracts big crowds with its variety of attractions.The fair board members work all year putting together a top-notch event. This yea

    August 1, 2014

  • Put full focus on driving Illinois motorists, thanks to a recent state law, should not use a hand-held mobile device such as a cell phone while they drive. However, anyone who has even casually watched traffic pass by knows many drivers ignore the law.Distracted driving can c

    July 27, 2014

  • Two extremes in job market The local employment scene seems a bit schizophrenic lately. Local officials point to a large number of job openings in the area, but at the same time the Danville Metropolitan Statistical Area recorded the highest unemployment rate in June of all 12

    July 25, 2014

E-edition
AP Video
Japan Landslide Rescuers Struggle in Heavy Rain Raw: Severe Floods, Fire Wrecks Indiana Homes Endangered Red Wolves Face Uncertain Future Raw: Russian Aid Convoy Arrives in Ukraine Hamm Talks Emmy Chances Okla. Policeman Accused of Sex Assaults on Duty Raw: Egypt Bus Crash Kills at Least 33 Two Bodies Found in Adjacent Yards Dominican Republic Bans Miley Cyrus Concert Raw: Israeli Air Strike in Gaza Raw: Rescue Efforts Suspended at Japan Landslide Raw: Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in Malaysia Raw: Smaller Marches in Ferguson Attorney: Utah Eatery Had Other Chemical Burn Farm Resurgence Grows With Younger Crowd Microbrewery Chooses Special Can for Its Beer Ky. Firefighters Hurt in Ice Bucket Challenge Federal Investigation Will Look at Use of Force Community Deals With Michael Brown Aftermath US: We Do Not Pay Ransom to Terrorists
NDN Video
Mariah Orders Nick Cannon to Stay Quiet About Divorce Details U.S. Military Strategy Against ISIS Rapper Almost Walks Off CNN Over Ferguson Coverage VIDEO: Goliath Grouper eats shark in one bite 2 American Ebola Patients Released From Hospital Whoa! Jimmy Fallon Shaves Jared Leto's Beard US Mission to Rescue Hostages in Syria Failed Reggie Jackson's ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Amazing Encounter With Sea Otter Caught on Video Motorcyclist Sticks Landing Sicilian hilltop homes on sale for one euro Are Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon Breaking Up? Joel McHale Interviews Chelsea This 'Breaking Bad' Reunion is the Most Hilarious Thing You'll See All Day! President Obama talks about who James Foley was Nicki Minaj Unleashes Her 'Anaconda' On the World Watch Helicopter Perform Aerial Ballet Can Buckeyes fill Miller's void? Victoria's Secret Models Prove They're in Fighting Shape How Brian Hoyer Stacks Up With Johnny Manziel
Must Read