Here's wishing everyone a happy 4th of July. It was on this occasion in 1863 that two very important events played out: Gettysburg and Vicksburg. The battle of Gettysburg, after three days of heavy fighting, ended on July 4th, with both sides thinking they were victorious. It was realized later that the Confederate army had actually suffered a defeat: the first major loss of the war. And at Vicksburg, Mississippi, Union General Grant succeeded in taking the town after a month-long siege, thus securing the Mississippi River for Federal use.
I have recently read certain sentiments expressing disenchantment about celebrating our national holiday because of the outcome of these battles, as well as the way the South was treated after the war, which I find completely understandable. However, I also consider it to be somewhat disrespectful to descendants of that war: veterans who fought and died for this country in subsequent wars, including both World Wars, the Korean War, which my dad fought in, the Vietnam War, and all other wars since. These servicemen and women deserve our respect by our saluting Old Glory, singing the national anthem, and honoring them with celebration.
Our founding fathers sacrificed home and health to secure our freedom. This 4th of July, let us honor those who so loved, cherished, and believed in our country that they laid down their lives unselfishly. God bless America!