2006/09/03

The Common Man (and Woman)

Happy Labor Day! Here is some music to accompany this post: 20th Century American Composer Aaron Copland's "Fanfare to the Common Man", from the Library of Congress.



In the USA, this is Labor Day weekend. For many, this simply means another long weekend during which millions will hit the road in their fossil fuel powered vehicles to enjoy a holiday, but will also inevitably wreak havoc on one another to the tune of 500 deaths and 25,000 disabling injuries - not counting the ongoing casualties being incurred to secure the necessary fossil fuel. The carnage will go mostly unnoticed by those not afflicted. If it happened every year in airplanes, you'd never hear the end of it. Go figure.

But the real meaning of this holiday is of course more weighty than just a long weekend get-away.

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Communications tower being erected near our house this past week. As storm clouds gathered that morning, I was glad that I was not one of those strapped to the biggest lighting rod in the area.

Samuel Gompers, founder and longtime president of the American Federation of Labor said, "Labor Day differs in every essential way from the other holidays of the year in any country. All other holidays are in a more or less degree connected with conflicts and battles of man's prowess over man, of strife and discord for greed and power, of glories achieved by one nation over another. Labor Day...is devoted to no man, living or dead, to no sect, race, or nation."

Labor Day is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.


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My son-in-law (firefighter), oldest daughter (registered nurse) and granddaughter Bailey (hasn't chosen a career yet)

Every enterprise requires ideas, capital, and labor. Sometimes a person does all three. Each is important, and none could achieve anything without the others. Today we celebrate the laborors, the salt of the earth. Wherever you are and whatever you do, have a great Labor Day.

11 comments:

Robin said...

hmmm.. and I tot Labour Day in most Commonwealth countries is 1 of May.

Cute Cure Bailey... hmm, Bailey's cream?

Pandabonium said...

May is the time in most countries for labor day.

Thanks. Don't know why they picked the name Bailey. Her middle name is Kaiolohia which means "peace of mind". She is cute as a bug. She'll have a little brother or sister in January.

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Labour Day here is in March, though we don't do much about it. Just a holiday in the sun.
My father's father marched in Melbourne in the 1880s or 1890s, they told us, to do with the 10 hour or 8 hour day. Also, I was pleased to find out that my grandmother signed a petition for women to have the vote - this also many years ago. Someone gave the link to the signatures - and there it was....with her address at the time.
W.

Pandabonium said...

W - interesting bit of history. So you come from a long line of subversives... um I mean, social activists. :^)

Swim said...

What a good-looking family Panda. Thnks for what you do and for whom you've brough into the world. Mahalo -Swim

Pandabonium said...

Thank you Swim. I'm proud of my two daughters. The younger one is working on her masters in computer engineering while working at Boeing. (says Panda puffing out his chest).

The Moody Minstrel said...

Ah..."Fanfare for The Common Man". I don't know how many different (and often rather corny) arrangements of that I've either heard or played, but there's no replacement for the original. Simple, basic, no-nonsense, to the point, bold, brassy, and loaded with power...

...kind of like a P-47...

I would love to be sitting in a stadium with a whole brass ensemble performing that perched around the rim. It would bring tears to my eyes.

If a flight of P-47s went roaring past right after that, I'd like it even more.

Pandabonium said...

The piston engined planes would definately add more pizzazz that jets.

Did you ever see "Piece of Cake"? It's a six part BBC drama (made in 1988) about a British fighter squadron in France at the beginning of WWII. The filmography was great and they did lots of flying with six or seven actual Spitfires. The roar of the RR Merlins as they took off from a grass strip was awesome. Great stuff.

Nothing to do with the fanfare.

YD said...

Bailey has grown! My impression of her has been the picture on the stamp! Oh cutie cutie..

This has really opened my eyes - all this while I thought Labour Day is on 1st May. Thanks for the background.

The Moody Minstrel said...

YD IS BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Even better, Panda-b:

I've gotten to see a couple of air shows put on by the Confederate Air Force (now called the Commemorative Air Force), which flies WWII aircraft, most of them real, a couple of them replicas. I got to see the only still-flying B-29 in existence...one that had only just been "found" in the Boneyards and made flightworthy again. Man...the sensation of raw power as that thing roared down the runway of the little Corvallis Airport...

One of my friends commented, "Oh, GOD! My pants just got tighter!!!" I understood exactly how he felt.

Pandabonium said...

Hey YD! Nice to hear from you. Looking forward to your next post to read all about what you've been up to.

Bailey just turned 3 and they all went to Disneyland (California) and joined my ex and other daughter to celebrate.

Moody - that's awesome. Must have been quite a wonderful sound. The props on those things are huge. I'm green.