Happy July 4 everybody. What a wonderful day, hope that everyone is enjoying the time with their families. Not only is today a special day for our country, and to celebrate our freedom, it is also a day of reflection and memory for those lost. I thought I would use the time to talk about a great American we lost, who is celebrated on July 4.
Today is Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day. ot only a great baseball player, but a great man, who’s life was cut short by a horrific disease.
ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, is an incurable and fatal neuromuscular disease. Patients suffer from progressive muscle weakness eventually resulting in paralysis, and death.
On July 4 1939, during a Yankees – Senators game, Lou Gehrig made his infamous farewell speech to a crowd of nearly 70,000 people. This speech, at least to me, shows not only strength of character, but provides a doctrine by which to lead ones life. No matter how bad things seem, I am incredibly lucky.
The full text of the farewell speech follows, as taken from the official website.
“Fans, for the past two weeks you have been reading about a bad break I got. Yet today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth. I have been in ballparks for seventeen years and I have never received anything but kindness and encouragement from you fans.
Look at these grand men. Which of you wouldn’t consider it the highlight of his career just to associate with them for even one day? Sure I’m lucky. Who wouldn’t have considered it an honor to have known Jacob Ruppert? Also, the builder of baseball’s greatest empire, Ed Barrows? To have spent six years with that wonderful little fellow, Miller Huggins? Then to have spent the next nine years with that outstanding leader, that smart student of psychology, the best manager in baseball today, Joe McCarthy? Sure, I’m lucky.
When the New York Giants, a team you would give your right arm to beat and vice versa, sends you a gift, that’s something. When everybody down to the groundskeeper and those boys in white coats remember you with trophies, that’s something. When you have a father and mother work all their lives so that you can have an education and build your body, it’s a blessing. When you have a wife who has been a tower of strength and shown more courage than you dreamed existed, that’s the finest I know. So I close in saying that I might have had a bad break, but I have an awful lot to live for.”