As we celebrate the birth of a nation this day, the day on which the fledgling United States declared their independence from the British Empire, let us give thanks for many of the gifts that this great country had brought us. There are many we things we could celebrate today, many wonderful delights of peace, freedom and prosperity, but there is one gift in particular I would like to celebrate on this uniquely American holiday, and that is the uniquely American tradition of the cheerleader.

From what I know, no other country or culture has this wonderful institution. Without a doubt the cheerleader, like the cowboy and the Western or blues music, is a sole American tradition, created in this great land, nourished through the years, and continuing today as an essential part of the fabric of American culture. There are many types of cheerleaders today, from amateurs to professionals, but the college cheerleader is perhaps the most ubiquitous of them all, given the number of college sports programs and the importance of college sports in America. They perhaps best embody the lovely beauty of this all important institution.


So here is a July 4th celebration of the cheerleader, those lovely creatures of enthusiastic, even Dionysian worship of sport and athletic contests. And they, like the god Dionysus himself in ancient Greece, have taken on a mythological lore in the annals of this great country, the United States of America.


God bless America, and God bless all cheerleaders!