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  • Writer's pictureGreater Cheyenne Chamber

A Funeral For A King And A Double Shot Of Rum

Factually, a mock funeral for a king. I personally wouldn’t advise ever doing a mock funeral. In this politically correct day and age you might be shunned worse than a UW fan at a CSU football game. Interestingly, this is just how early Americans celebrated independence.


Imagine an effigy of a foreign leader in a casket, and then going so far as having a funeral for them. To add insult to injury, George Washington was doubling the allotment of rum for his troops. Not only were our ancestors holding a funeral, we were bellying up to the bar to celebrate old King George’s demise. Imagine a couple hundred years later Americans celebrating the assumption of a King Charles (according to CNN over 10 million of us). What would the colonists have thought of us celebrating a direct descendant of King George the III (you know that guy that the Colonists whipped in the Revolutionary war)? I’m guessing they wouldn’t have smiled on it too kindly, and frankly, for myself I would take the Rum over having to watch some hoopla over celebrating the antithesis to our American independence. Oh well, each to his own!

Well, you may not choose a mock funeral to celebrate the 4th this year, but it is a good day to remember where we came from and what was paid on our behalf to found this nation. It’s also important to remember that those “cheeky colonists” paid a high price (in fact many gave their fortunes and even their lives) to give us the precious gift of freedom. Their example was heartfelt enough that men and women throughout the generations have volunteered to sacrifice to protect this magnificent gift, so let’s make our men and women in uniform feel appreciated this 4th. Without them, this gift that we have been bequeathed would long since be only a memory. I’m starting to think the funeral idea is a good one, because when I think about how much has been sacrificed to maintain what I consider a basic human right, freedom, it raises my cowboy ire.


An Explosive Economy

In addition to beer and hot dogs, which definitely feel an economic boost from the holiday, we should make an attempt to understand our country, why it was founded and what our founding documents mean. I see a lot of folks running around with a copy of the US constitution that quote it regularly but have no idea what it really means. Fortunately for them, one of the blessings of our democracy is that we are free to say whatever ignorant words that we desire. Seriously, though, we should be aware of the responsibility to care for the gift we have been given and endeavor to truly understand this blessing called America.

Sometimes the simplest explanation is the best, and for those of you who have a bit of gray around the edges, you might remember this little ditty from School House Rock that does a pretty good job of summing it up. “America, America God shed his grace on thee,” words from America the Beautiful, but also a reminder of our precious gift. So, celebrate America next week, but spend some solemn time in reflection as well.


Happy 4th Y’all!

-Dale Steenbergen

Your CEO/President of the Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce

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