Bob’s Commentary: The roots of Labor Day

Bob's Commentary
January 01 2022 12:00 am

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- Take a moment.

Looking for a statue to put one? One we should all take a knee in front of?

Every town in every state in this country should have a statue in the town square, honoring the multi-national, ethnic and cultural American worker! Regardless of political point of view.

The roots of Labor Day are deep in this country, figuratively and literally.

Since the late 1800s, Labor Day was set aside to celebrate the laborer.

It came to be to honor the people who built and are building this country.

From the ditch digger, the masons, plumbers, welders, carpenters, the railroad builders, iron hangers, bridge builders, road workers and everyone in between- thank you.

Upon your backs and calluses, mixed with your blood, sweat and tears, this country lives, works and plays.

More often than not, you drive by and pay little attention to them, working in the blistering heat, freezing temperatures and blowing snow.

I know, because I’m proud to say, I was fortunate to have been one of those guys.

When I was young, I needed a course correction, it’s life, my mom sent me off to work for a family friend, Harold Faber. He owned a construction company.

I always called him Mr. Faber, a mountain of man who deserved the respect. He built buildings all over this country.

Under his wing, I dug ditches day and night, poured concrete, and carried block, a lot of it.

Mr. Faber and his foreman, Glenn Rehiem, put it pure and simple. The American worker is to be celebrated on Labor Day, yes, but also respected every day.

Everything we drive on, work in, live in, play at, everything made in this country, the American worker has had a hand on.

Mr. Faber was the owner of the company, but he couldn’t stay away from the work. A mason by trade, he would join brick and block layers and work on his own buildings.

He made me his apprentice and would explain, the American worker builds buildings that house classrooms and offices. Offices where people run and create companies. Companies that create jobs and things we use. If not for the people who build the buildings, then what?

He and Glenn let me know the skills and trade I was learning belonged to me, and me alone, and would work for me whenever I needed them. The American tradesman can write his own ticket.

I’ve got the scars that map out a learning curve I’m proud of.

Yeah, it can be just a job, but before you got there, there was nothing.

Keep in mind this weekend when you get on the boat, head out on the road, to the cabin, to the state park or fire up the grill, if it was made here, an American worker had a hand on it for you.

Add the farmer who grew or raised what you’ll put on the table.

So, when you see a crew working or packed in a pickup driving home late, take a moment, give ’em a thumbs up, let them know you appreciate all they do for you.


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