These days of labor 

Monday is rarely the best day of the week, but it was especially easy to feel sorry for ourselves this Labor Day. It was smoky beyond reason outside, of course, and while the Indy's basement editorial office is probably a better place than most to ride out the particulate apocalypse, we still had to, you know, work through Labor Day. Because newspaper deadlines are no respecters of national holidays.

And oh waaaaahhhh. Cry me a river, right? (Preferably in the form of two highly localized rain clouds parked over the Lolo Peak and Rice Ridge fires, please.)

You know who's got a tough job? The firefighters battling a murderer's row of wildland blazes all over the American West, with thinned resources and lives on the line, for one. The heroic first responders up and down Texas' Gulf Coast who waded neck deep into disaster to pluck scared children from rain-slick rooftops and elderly men and women from swamped nursing homes, for another. And how about a shout-out to the jon-boat brigade that is the ad-hoc Cajun Navy, whose members took time off from their own daily labors to help repay the neighborly assist that Houston so famously lent Louisiana in 2005, when the disaster du jour was called Katrina, and it inflicted its traumatic destruction just a few hundred miles to the east.

And finally, how about America's 800,000 DACA Dreamers, here to work, who just had their futures pulled from under them like a cheap rug by a president who made his money stiffing workers, outsources jobs when it profits his own bottom line, stacked his administration with anti-labor zealots, and pads his poll numbers by making empty promises to out-of-work Rust Belters.

Labor—never mind organized labor—may be on the run in this country right now, but if the point of Labor Day is to give us pause and cause to remember "the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country" (per the U.S. Department of Labor), then this smoky, sodden summer is giving us all the reminder we could ask for.

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