It’s July 4! Firecracker Day!

Unfurl Old Glory! Break out the hot dogs, watermelon and lemonade! Think about the patriots of 1776, and their willingness to risk, as they put it, “our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor” to tell the world’s greatest military power to scram.

And think about what the American Revolution hath wrought … a nation of rights, laws, opportunities and privileges that non-Americans often lack. That is why, despite the protests, nobody’s leaving, and millions are eager to get in.

On July 4, 2020, let’s consider a few of our gifts.

In America:

• You can flood the streets, wave signs, go on TV and call your elected officials idiots, and not get arrested.

• You can vote the idiots out of office. Or you can run for office yourself. If elected, then you will know how it feels to be called an idiot, often and publicly.

• If you’re accused of something, a jury can hear your side of the story and decide whether you should be punished. And if you’re punished, you can never be beheaded or drawn and quartered, as they did back in Merrie Olde England when you called the king an idiot.

• You can show up at the hospital with a broken leg, and no money, and not be turned away.

• Even poor kids can be admitted to some of the world’s best universities, and earn degrees. They may not ever become fraternity boys or sorority girls, but they will leave with lifetime advantages that were rare 75 years ago.

• You can practice any faith you choose, or no faith at all, and not be hassled.

• Your home is your castle. If you need 15 shotguns, a dozen rifles and 10 pistols to do it, that’s OK. A guerilla war on American turf would be the foreign invader’s worst nightmare.

• Housing options and locations are unlimited. If you want to live in a cabin in Alaska, you can. From there, you can try a house in the Arizona desert. Or maybe a trailer in St. Louis, or an apartment in Ridge Farm, Ill. Whatever you want, we’ve got it in abundance.

• Even the poorest of the poor have clothes on their backs, food in their stomachs and, often, cell phones.

• Your children can go to school, free of charge. And you can know the riches of the arts and sciences in your local public library, free. As long as there are libraries, you will never need money to have a good time.

Danville’s Joe Cannon, longtime speaker of the U.S. House, said this: “I have learned that America will rise to meet her problems. I have learned that good will triumph over evil. Have faith in the government of your fathers. Show your faith by works to support the government. Have faith that right will prevail.”

Thank you, sir. And a happy July 4 to all.

Danville native Kevin Cullen is a former Commercial-News reporter. Reach him at

Danville native Kevin Cullen is a former Commercial-News reporter. Reach him at

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