Monday, May 2, 2011

A show of May Day solidarity in Mount Vernon

For most Americans, Labor Day has come to be the popular day to recognize the efforts of the average worker in our country, preferably over some BBQ and maybe a ballgame. But the idea of memorializing the achievements of the country’s Labor movement has its roots in a much older workers’ holiday, traditionally observed on May 1st – May Day.

In a show of May Day solidarity with the trade unions that brought us the eight-hour workday and the weekend, Rep. Kristine Lytton joined in the Farmworker’s Solidarity March in Mt. Vernon yesterday. A daughter of a coal mining town and a casual historian of the American Labor movement and its heroes and heroines, Kristine was thrilled to join them on a beautiful sunny day back home, reflect on the contribution workers like them make to our country every day.

“There are some who have forgotten the value of our nation’s farmworkers, or no longer feel a connection to our land," Lytton said as she addressed the crowd gathered for the post-march rally. "They only see the produce on the store shelves and the gallons of milk behind the glass, never wondering what it took to get there."

"That’s why I am here today; to say to you, our families, our communities, our state, and our country are in your debt! By creating value in the land, you have helped build a nation. And you have helped keep Woody Guthrie’s dream alive – the dream that this land was made for you and me.

"You and me equally. And we will always keep striving to keep it that way.”