Labor Day has been a national holiday for over 100 years recognizing the efforts of trade and labor unions in the United States. Our region has a strong history of organized labor, though membership currently in our state rests at just 11 percent. That said, unions have served as an important voice for employees to ensure fair wages, safety and quality of work life. As we enjoy our Labor Day picnics and last-chance vacations, let's appreciate that our country has come a long way in ensuring the rights and safety of workers thanks to the efforts of the early unions.
September 11 10th Anniversary Remembrances will be conducted by many organizations and communities. I am honored to participate in the St. Meinrad Patriot Day Ceremony on Sunday, September 11 hosted by the St. Meinrad Legion Post. Most of us can recall exactly where we were when we heard the horrific news. It was a surreal time of tragedy for all Americans as we watched the World Trade Center Twin Towers in flames and a plane in the side of the Pentagon. One plane destined for more tragedy was diverted by the untold heroic efforts of its fearless passengers against the hijackers. Nearly 3,000 innocent victims and public servants died in all. These terrorist actions have led to wars in Iraq and Afghanistan taking the lives of thousands of American and Coalition forces and countless civilian casualties. As we fight for democracy and freedom in the Middle East, and for the end of terrorism, we pray that this priceless investment of human life will, in the end, result in a meaningful peace and respect for human rights across this part of the world.
These events remind us that freedom is not free. America's form of governance is priceless and our American soldiers, police officers, firefighters and emergency personnel are the best and bravest in the world. May God bless all who put their own lives at risk to serve others. And may He watch over and comfort the families of those who have lost a loved one in an unselfish act of bravery.
Rep. Sue Ellspermann (R-Ferdinand)