Chicago Tribune

Commentary: The freedoms we must not take for granted on Independence Day

I filled the gas tank of my SUV, packed a cooler with Gatorade, a bag of trail mix and six hard-boiled eggs, and I set out on a journey of 1,200 miles that would traverse six states.

For two days, I drove through sun and rain, through the Great Smoky Mountains and across bridges of dizzying heights over the Tennessee River and the Ohio River.

I sped across state borders at 77 mph, and I hardly spoke to anyone, save a gregarious cook at

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