Sunday, September 4, 2011
Labor Day Parade
Saturday morning people gathered downtown for a parade to celebrate the working man. It ran the gamut among electricians, truckers and communications workers; street workers, firefighters and aircraft maintenance people; welders, hotel and restaurant personnel. In addition to the high school marching bands that took part, the musicians' union provided three or four bands -- Dixieland jazz, blues, and rock -- for entertainment along the way.
They are all people whose work and presence is taken for granted, who are all but invisible to "big business" until they are no longer there to perform their jobs. They are people who take pride in their work and in doing it well.
They feel a deep pride in their country and resent that their work has, in many cases, been so devalued that it's been sent abroad, "outsourced" by corporations seeking even larger profits -- 98% of the working population of the United States being marginalized by the wealthiest 2%.
But no mind -- the little kids sat on the curbs with their parents, exercising the "three-second rule" as they gathered treasure troves of candy thrown to them by people on the gaily decorated trucks and mechanical displays passing by. They collected little flags and coloring books, too. Given that the temperatures were in the mid-90s, there were also bottles of water to be had and gratefully consumed.
The people present came from various political persuasions, religious preferences, genders, ages and racial backgrounds. Nobody wore a suit.