As it waved amid the glorious morning sunshine I thought about the life I have enjoyed.
I came from a family that stayed together during the bad times and the good. Never without food, clothing or a decent home, my brother and I, attended excellent public schools. We never feared gangs, beatings by the police, or drugs.
We were lucky. Our parents loved us. We had a great extended family, loaded with wonderful, supportive souls.
Mom, a nurse, and dad, a postman, worked their entire lives so we could live in a good neighborhood. After college, we did our time in the military and then, blessed with abundant opportunities, we pursued our careers.
Our “Good Life”, like all Americans’ “Good Life”, was built upon the sacrifices of our ancestors. They paid dearly for the good fortune we have today.
They shed blood and tears, not only on battlefields around the world, but, here at home, too. In our factories, farms and cities.
From our nation’s very beginning, they carried on multiple battles with the “powers that be”, trying to overcome terrible working conditions, slave-wages, exploitation, and every abuse imaginable perpetrated by managers and owners of businesses, police, national guard and “elected authorities”.
Each step along the way was covered with the blood of our ancestors.
That is what Labor Day is all about… recognition of the price paid just to live and the certain knowledge that we, too, are destine to continue to pay it again.
Check, Wikipedia’s Timeline of labor issues and events 1619-2012