Enzi honors Thomas’s legacy with ‘National Day of the Cowboy’ resolution
Carries tradition forward in late senator’s name
by Senator Enzi media release
February 17, 2008
For the past three years, Thomas – a cowboy himself – honored the heritage of his home state and the West by sponsoring a resolution to name the fourth Saturday in July “National Day of the Cowboy,” which coincides each year with the opening of Cheyenne Frontier Days. This year, in honor of Thomas’s legacy, Enzi is continuing the tradition by introducing the Senate resolution.
“Acknowledging both the historical significance of the cowboy in pioneering the West and the contemporary cowboy’s contributions to our country was an important cause to Craig. Each year he worked to gain national recognition for this enduring American icon with his ‘National Day of the Cowboy’ resolution,” said Enzi.
“It is with great respect and gratitude for the work that Craig accomplished on behalf of Wyoming that we continue with the precedent he set and stand behind this tradition he established. I hope my colleagues will take this opportunity to honor both the contributions of the American cowboy and the legacy of Senator Craig Thomas by passing this resolution.”
Thomas, whose family owned and operated a dude ranch near Yellowstone while he was growing up, first sought to nationally recognize the spirit and work of the American cowboy by introducing the original “National Day of the American Cowboy” resolution in May of 2005. With Thomas’s support, the resolution passed Congress, officially designating July 23, 2005 as the first “National Day of the American Cowboy.”
Since then, Thomas led National Day of the Cowboy efforts each year, and today, the National Day of the Cowboy celebration has grown to encompass daylong events nationwide. The annual celebration is backed by President George W. Bush, who has acknowledged the day every year with the issuing of an official presidential statement.
Fifteen U.S. senators have signed on as co-sponsors of the resolution this year, including Senator John Barrasso, R-Wyo.
“The Cowboy is the symbol of Wyoming. It is our state’s icon, representing our history and way of life. The people of Wyoming embody the Cowboy spirit,” Barrasso said. “The National Day of the Cowboy holds a special place in Wyoming’s and my heart.
This day of recognition came to be through the efforts of Senator Craig Thomas.
“Senator Thomas was a dedicated public servant, a powerful leader, a straight shooter, a loyal family man and one of the most genuine cowboys I have ever met. He was an unwavering advocate for the Cowboy way, not only through his words and work in the U.S. Congress, but more so, through his actions. He chose to lead by example. Senator Thomas upheld an enduring code of conduct, exercising such virtues as honesty, integrity, courage and patriotism. He was a beloved but humble role model,” Barrasso said.
U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., also introduced an identical resolution in the House. This is the first time such a measure has been introduced in the House.