Thursday, September 2, 2021

Labor Day pandemic salute: Celebrating those who keep us afloat


Our taxi driver, Marcos, is a native New York taxi driver.  He picked us up at JFK, drove us to
Midtown, recommended a fine Italian restaurant, and told lively stories. Thanks, Marcos.

A nurse at Scripps Hospital in San Diego
gives Bruce Keller his Pfizer vaccination.


A trolley driver takes a break between tours
in San Diego's Old Town, mask briefly off.
THIS WEEK we celebrate Labor Day, and the heroic workers who have kept us healthy, fed, entertained, hopeful, vaccinated and moving around safely during the pandemic.
This week, we express our gratitude to those legions of life-saving workers: health care staff, hotel and restaurant crews, bank tellers, grocery store clerks, truck drivers, cruise personnel, pilots and flight attendants, mail carriers, vegetable and fruit stand sellers, fitness trainers, construction workers, taxi and bus drivers, coffee shop baristas, buskers who braved the streets and subways, and many others.
They've played a major role in keeping us relatively sane and healthy during this unprecedented 18 months of isolation, anxiety and distress.
Two delightful American Cruise Lines hosts
greet passengers on a recent domestic cruise.

LABOR DAY 2021  occurs on Monday, Sept. 6. Let's pay tribute to these important people.
    A volunteer at Monterey Bay
Aquarium describes the wonders
of the kelp beds in the sea.
The day traditionally honors the contributions and achievements of American workers and for decades has been  observed on the first Monday in September. It was created by the labor movement in the late 19th century and became a federal holiday in 1894. 
This year, it takes on new and profound meaning as we face the continuing challenges brought about by the pandemic.
Construction workers in New York City
prepare their day's labor with a safety talk
THE IDEA for Labor Day was the brainchild of Peter J. McGuire, a carpenter and labor union leader.  He came up with the notion to celebrate workers and honor their accomplishments.
 He thought the nation should give thanks to American workers in a formal, public way, and that workers  should be recognized on a special day each year.  He drafted a proposal and presented it to New York's Central Labor Union early in 1882.
They thought the idea a good one and so plans were put in place. The first Labor Day was held on a Tuesday, Sept.5, of that year, 1882, in New York City. It was a joyous affair, with a day off for workers who joined their families to celebrate with picnics, concerts and speeches.
A Home Depot clerk helps Bruce Keller with his purchases
for a home repair project he undertook during the pandemic
Twelve years later, the nation followed suit and it became a federal occasion.
CONSIDERING the dozens, perhaps hundreds, of people who have helped us through "pandemic purgatory," we add our thanks to the gratitude of millions to say, "We greatly appreciate you for risking your own safety to help us and our countrymen and women survive Covid."
  And we thank workers around the globe who have kept the world running, even with the pitfalls and dangers of the virus, its spread and now the dangerous variants.
A Hilton maid cleans a room
door, readying it for a guest.
Workers have bought us groceries, tools, beverages, prescriptions and vitamins, dog food, technology supplies and much more since our world changed in early spring of 2020.
Delivery men and women were cordial and helpful, bringing  boxes inside, wearing gloves and masks, cautious to make sure pens and laptops are wiped clean if a signature was needed.
We traveled a half-dozen times domestically, always carefully.  We have great respect for the Hilton brand properties in which we've stayed -- Hilton Garden Inns, Doubletrees, Hampton Inns, Homewood Suites, and the Curio Collection properties.  We enjoyed our membership in Hilton Grand Vacations and had a wonderful trip to Hawaii with our 
Cookie, Keller, Amarylla, James, Steve, and
-- in the hatch, Peny Ganner -- in Hawaii. Masks
off briefly just for the mahalo photo.
San Francisco family in May.  We managed to resurrect a
week of happiness, even in the shadow of the pandemic. We sailed, rode horses, took helicopter rides, lazed about the pool -- happy that our fellow travelers were mostly respectful, courteous, masked and vaccinated.
Again, thanks to our extreme caution, the scientists who developed vaccines, and the tireless workers!  

One World Trade Center stands a proud 1,776 feet high,
 symbolizing America's endurance and its determination to rebuild.

UP NEXT: It's been twenty years since "9/11."  As the world remembers Sept. 11, 2001, with all its shock, sorrow, horror, and loss of life and property, we visit  the beautiful new building and memorial which pay respect to the nearly 3,000 lives lost. In the two decades since these barbaric acts of terrorism took down the Twin Towers at the World Trade Center in New York, we ask that this horror be remembered by future generations.  We explore the memorial and grounds of the new One World Trade Center and pay homage to the murdered. Meanwhile, as we pay our respects, please remember to celebrate each day, explore, learn and live and catch us each week for a fresh spin on travel, the arts, nature, family, friendship, loss and renewal: Please share the link.


  1. Pittsburgh Play GoersSeptember 3, 2021 at 8:56 AM

    This is a sweet piece. Thank you for YOUR service in this unprecedented time of stress and strain.

  2. Detroit Pride CoupleSeptember 3, 2021 at 1:33 PM

    Labor Day has always meant the end of summer. How special to salute these workers who give us hope.

  3. Great Falls FollowersSeptember 5, 2021 at 1:56 PM

    Great idea for a photo montage.... Thanks.

  4. Delighted to see this wonderful tribute for our unsung heroes!