In March, we experienced a severe hailstorm, one of the worst in recent years. That storm caused a great deal of damage in our community and all across Kentucky. One insurance company, reporting in its monthly newsletter, said offices throughout the state had received 127,000 claims for damage. The young man, owner of the company that replaced the roof on my house, told me he had received contracts to replace roofs on at least 40 houses in our subdivision and more than 300 in and around our town. Of course, other roofers were active in the community, too.
A few days after the storm, work to repair the storm damage began in earnest, and throughout the summer, even when the temperature was more than a 100 degrees, workmen were on housetops making necessary repairs. As a result, house after house received a new roof, and other repairs such as replacing damaged siding and gutters were done.
As I watched a new roof being put on our house and occasionally entered into pleasant conversation with the young man in charge, I noticed that the workmen were courteous, fast, efficient and professional. As a result of their labor, the work was completed quickly, and a necessary job was done well. I was, and am, grateful to them for their service.
As those workmen labored and I watched, I became aware of this: Necessary work of one kind or another is constantly under way. It is honorable, and it should be recognized as such. Those of us who are a part of western civilization have a heritage, almost 2,000 years old, that reminds us “to respect those who work hard among” us and “hold them in the highest regard … because of their work.”
Labor Day, always observed on the first Monday of September, is more than the unofficial end of summer and a day free of labor — it is a time to pause for a moment and recognize that necessary work is honorable, and those who are engaged in it render a valuable service.