Shadow (dariaphoebe) wrote,

I pedaled along in the humid but cool morning air, up the valley toward the schools where I'd spent a combined 18 years of learning and work. Passing under the cantilevered steel deck truss, I glanced at the piers from the narrower structure that had preceded it.

So fast was the city growing in those days. The previous morning while at the far end of my morning exercise ride, I'd paused for a traffic light adjacent to the mouth of a tunnel. The double bore, when completed just over 90 years previous, represented the effort of the county to accommodate the needs of a local population burgeoning in one of the chief industrial cities in the nation. The length meant that the new tunnels, adjacent to a single trolley tube 20 years older, would be the longest vehicular tunnels in the world to that point. We did it because the outward migration away from the polluting industries in the river valleys meant taming the rugged local geography.

As required by the factories themselves, a mass of humanity had been tapped to forge those links between urban and suburban areas. And regardless of the obsolescence that followed, many -- at least those we treated well enough that they didn't decay away -- are still in use. The replacement costs in a society where specialized labor is somewhat better compensated mean we are often forced to make good use of things we might otherwise discard without another thought.

And so, to the many unsung and often underpaid and underappreciated workers who built the city I call home (as well as countless others), I can only offer my gratitude on this day, the single day we as a nation (divisively, from a global standpoint) celebrate the true value of labor.
Tags: laborday, transition, unions

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