There's a day set aside every year to celebrate the contributions of the Cowboy and Cowgirl to America's culture and heritage. That day falls on the fourth Saturday in July. Having a special day set aside for cowboys and cowgirls doesn't mean we should ignore them the rest of the year. If anything, this day should teach us that some of the best, solid values our country was built upon came from the ranches of the American West.
The era of the cowboy began in Texas, right after the Civil War. As the country expanded, more beef was needed to feed the folks in the northern territories, so cowboys started moving herds of cattle on long drives to where the demand and profits were. The life of a cowboy wasn't easy. It required the ability to live in the frontier world with both its romance and its dangers. That demanded respect, loyalty, and willingness to work hard.
In this day and age, so many years removed from its beginnings, the legend of the Cowboy still lives, and the values that once built and defined the American West still define it to this day. Whether country folk or city dwellers, we'd all do well to follow the example of the hard-working, respectful, faithful, and loyal cowboy.
To learn more about the National Day of the Cowboy, its 16 years of observance, and the states where cowboy tradition is still alive and well, visit the National Day of the Cowboy Organization website. If you're going out to celebrate today, don't forget to add some rock-n-roll sass to your country western cowgirl flair. Wear some turquoise and leather fringe, and check out Buckaroo Bling for a good measure of inspiration.