Monday, September 07, 2009

Thoughts on our fellow flyers on Labor Day

Sometimes we seem to take for granted the luxury of our end-of-summer holiday, our last long-weekend opportunity until Thanksgiving and one that comes while the weather is still good enough to enjoy pretty much anything we want to for skiing, maybe...

But the occasion is more than an excuse for some extra discount shopping, one last getaway to the campground or even a short holiday trip via private plane.

This holiday, helped into existence by a then more-influential Labor Movement is a reminder of all those people who labor to serve their fellow citizens in all arenas -- blue collar, white collar, no collar. Like the phenominon of "the weekend" itself, this three-day variant actually has many parents, from those in organized Labor to those with religious motivations and others with social consciousness about giving people time with their families.

Remember, it wasn't too long ago when "weekends" didn't exist as a two-day break from the labors of paying bills and feeding families -- let alone holidays tacked on to the now-traditional two-day weekend to give us and our families three-day breaks like this one.

So in light of these facts, it's particularly worth remembering our fellow citizens for whom today -- and Labor Day Weekend -- are nothing different from the rest of the 365 days on the calendar.

Today, airline pilots and their flight attendants in the main cabin are working -- as are cargo flyers, search-and-rescue aviators, aero-medical crew, law-enforcement flyers, as well as ramp crew to service our aircraft when we stop at the FBOs on our Labor Day Weekend flights, stand-by mechanics and, of course, those fine folks staffing the towers and tracons and en route centers, the flight service-station network, weather observation stations and the staff who maintain the equipment that makes their work possible.

All these jobs are staffed and operating or standing by to help the rest of us along in our holiday-weekend pursuits, to help us when we're lost or hurt or just need a few gallons of fuel, a crew car of some air in the tires. All these folks are missing out on part of the joy of this end-of-summer fete' and away from families and friends who miss their participation.

So here's a thought for the day or the week: Take a moment, if you cross paths with any of them, look 'em in the eye and say, "Thanks. I appreciate you being here and working today." And if the opportunity arises, buy 'em a cup of coffee or a soda, shake their hands and leave it at that.

There's no doubt in my mind, they will appreciate your comments and your offer.

Happy Labor Day to us all.

-- Dave


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