It’s a beautiful holiday, an awesome celebration of our country. The Fourth of July is Independence Day, when we honor our forefathers for fighting for our separation from England more than two centuries ago.
We also honor those that have fought for our freedoms every year since. It’s almost magical, and the red white and blue displays are marvelous. It’s humbling and inspiring. Sacrifices have been made in the form of lives, limbs and countless other injuries, all in in defense of the United States of America.
With our freedoms come a bit of complacency and taking our liberties for granted. Today, though, we need to take a deep breath and focus a little of our attention why we have the freedom to do as we please, to watch a ballgame or spend time with family or eat way too much.
Today, many of my friends are scurrying from one event to another on the hottest week on the rodeo trail. Some will attempt to compete in three rodeos today, from the short go-round in Greeley, Colo., to Oregon rodeos in Molalla and St. Paul or in Red Lodge, Mont., and Cody, Wyo. The timing has to work out spectacularly, but they’re going to make a run out of those lucrative rodeos that are a big part of Cowboy Christmas.
It’s a wild ride. Cars, vans and trucks and trailers will travel thousands of miles in just a few days’ time, all the while airline tickets will frantically be purchased at the last minute – meanwhile, roughstock cowboys’ gear bags must be checked, so there’s always a chance the luggage didn’t arrive on the same flight as the contestants.
Many of the top timed-event contestants have numerous rigs on the road and will make sure they’re at the right place at the right time in order to compete. Others will simply attempt to mount someone else’s horse and roll the dice that it’s a good fit.
There’s a lot of money available over Cowboy Christmas, which is why it’s such a marvelous and frantic feeling at the same time. Many contestants will make at least $20,000 over the course of this lucrative-rodeo run, so it’s a valuable stretch of the rodeo season.
But it’s only happening because of the freedoms we are allowed through the sacrifices made by millions of Americans. We should never take it for granted.
Happy Fourth of July. May we all be blessed and safe.