Independence Day, July 4, 2020.
We are and remain a very young nation at 244 years old.
Our freedoms are the envy of the world.
We are still the best and the greatest, no matter how loud protesters shout, no matter how bitter they sound, no matter how much property they destroy. The United States of America, the shining star of the free world, will persevere.
This Independence of ours, these freedoms we enjoy, have come at a very high price.
Lexington and Concord; Bunker Hill; Yorktown; The Siege of Fort McHenry; The Battle of New Orleans; Antietam; The Wilderness; Chancellorsville; Shiloh; Gettysburg; The Argonne; Belleau Wood; Marne; Pearl Harbor; Iwo Jima; Guadalcanal; Midway; Chosin Resevoir; Incheon; Heartbreak Ridge; Bloody Ridge; Vietnam; Iraq; Afghanistan.
Those names are meaningless to the protesting throngs. Our country is forgetting about the cost of our freedoms, forgetting the price that has been paid over and over again for the past 244 years.
That price has been paid by millions of Americans who fought and died and wrote the check for the ultimate cost — their very lives.
Their names are meaningless to the protesting throngs.
Once again we celebrate our Independence and despite the pandemic, the protests, the riots and looting, we celebrate because those of us who know about the sacrificial history of our country appreciate that there are still brave men and women who are willing to write that check for that cost of freedom, and that cost still comes in the form of human lives lost on real battlefields.
One great thing about our incredible game of golf is that it comes with a rich history and most of our American stars know about and appreciate that history. They know about those who came before them, those who played for meager money and paved the way for what is today, a lucrative sport. It is perhaps one of the most democratic sports in the world — you do well, you prosper. You do poorly, you go find something else to do.
Our sport is based purely on merit and members of the PGA Tour, the European Tour, the LPGA Tour, all the world tours, are “independent” contractors — free to play where and when they choose.
As Americans, we are free to make our choices — whether they are good or bad — we’re free to make them, to pursue that which we choose.
These players we watch this weekend in Detroit have risen to a level of excellence that affords them good livings. But make no mistake — that skill level comes with a price. There is always a price to pay to succeed in any field, no matter which you choose. It requires time and commitment. Very few make it to the PGA Tour, even fewer stay there for more than five to 10 years, even fewer reach the highest levels of the game.
Very few make it to the highest level of any sport, any business, any profession.
Success in America is not a guarantee. The ability to work for success is there for the taking.
Success in anything does not come easy. There’s always a price to be paid. But the highest price of all is the price of our freedoms — the freedoms that allows us to undertake the pursuit of happiness.
This Independence Day will be more muted with the ongoing pandemic. Many of us will be at home.
Take a few moments and review the wars our country has endured and survived. Take a few moments to look at some images of our memorials. Take a few moments to think about the millions of men and women who have given: Their Last Full Measure Of Devotion.
They are the heroes of our Freedom. They have paid the price. They didn’t protest, they were there when our country needed them.
And those are the heroes we will always need — now and a hundred years from now.
For those who serve, those who put their lives on the line, those who have given their lives — this is their day.
They gave up their futures, their days, so that ours can be better.