Today is Labor Day. What does that mean? Does that mean it’s the unofficial beginning of Fall and the beginning of a new school year? Does that mean we can’t wear white again until after Memorial Day? Lots of meanings and traditions have been attributed to Labor Day, but at the heart of it all, Labor Day is really a day when we should stop to remember all the hard working citizens of this country.
There is a LOT of hard working going on these days in the town I where live, as we have been experiencing a tremendous growth in jobs in the area. Workers from all over the country have been coming to Western North Dakota the past couple years to find work. Many are working in the newly-developed oil fields, but others are coming just to be able to find work in a job-rich area of our country. As a result, our local businesses have been overwhelmed with the sudden increase in demand resulting from all the newcomers, and construction workers just can’t seem to build homes and crew camps fast enough for everyone who wants to live and work here now.
I have to admit, in the past I haven’t put a lot of thought into the meaning of Labor Day, but with my community growing as fast as it is because of the workers coming here, I have to stop and pause today to remember these modern-day pioneers who have come to Western North Dakota to find a better life, sort of like the homesteaders of a hundred years ago did. Who do you remember today?
Kris Brugamyer, a member of the churchwide executive board, lives in Dickinson, North Dakota.