The View from the Hudson
7 Settembre Set 2011 0206 07 settembre 2011

Labor Pains

Yesterday was a holiday here in the U.S.

Labor Day was first developed as a way to celebrate the worker, the union worker originally.

Today it is the bookend weekend of the summer -- Memorial Day (originally celebrating those who died in our wars) comes at the end of May and Labor Day comes at the beginning of summer.

This year, Labor Day came so close to the 10th anniversary of September 11th, it got me thinking.

Think of the role the union worker has played in this amazing story. Pilot and flight attendants, traffic controllers, countless custodians and security workers and parcel delivery people -- all killed on that day. To say nothing of the police and firemen ... all part of organized labor.

Then union construction people went to work, cleaning up ground zero. Many, many getting strange diseases for their efforts, a result of breathing in all the chemicals burning in that smoldering, dusty pit.

And finally, the union steelworkers, concrete contractors, landscapers -- all giving everything to raise up a series of new iconic buildings and monuments.

Soon Ground Zero will be the World Trade Center once again. And let's not forget the workers who played the central role in that story.

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