Hanging on the walls of the basement office in my home are two fairly large poster prints. One is a photo of Grand Central Station in New York City taken in 1939 and the other is a picture of steelworkers who were building the Empire State Building in 1930 sitting on a steel girder enjoying lunch high above the Manhattan skyline.
At a time when we celebrate the great accomplishments in technology that have given us iPhones, Facebook and the convenience of ordering online anything and receiving it at our doorsteps in minutes or hours, little attention is made of the major works of art that stands as a tribute to the American worker such as Grand Central Station and the magnificent presence of the Empire State Building on 34th Street in NYC.
Every day, more than 750,000 people pass through Grand Central Station. Most of these people are going to and from their jobs coming from the tri-state area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Many of the people who use Grand Central Station are the 15,000 people who work in the Empire State Building alone.
My point is that while we celebrate the titans of business and industry in the press, in movies and documentaries, we seem to have lost the gratitude and appreciation of the workers who built these great structures decades ago. We need to be conscious of the people today who maintain these buildings daily, year after year. They are black-skinned, brown-skinned, yellow-skinned and white-skinned. They speak many languages and worship God in different ways or not at all; but in their need to sustain themselves and their families, they allow you and me to be able to work and perform our services to sustain our lives and to help others.
Grand Central and the Empire State Building are just two of the thousands of buildings throughout the United States which stands as a monument to the American worker — workers who were our mothers, fathers, grandfathers, grandmothers, aunts and uncles. Workers who migrated from all parts of the world to build and maintain these great structures that still function to make America work.
As we paused from our work on Labor Day, I hope we took time to celebrate the ordinary everyday workers who make this country run. They may not make great scientific or technological discoveries or invent the efficiencies which get us our goods and services quickly; but they clean our houses and buildings, they make sure they get us to and from our jobs daily. They clean our restrooms, prepare our food, pick up our trash and make sure our baggage gets to the same destination we travel to.
The workers of America make it possible for you and I to work every day. They keep our sick healthy and safe, they assist our seniors in getting through their daily lives, they get our children to school safely and teach them how to read and write.
If there ever is an example of sisters and brothers in Christ functioning daily as a family it is those who work every day to benefit others.
God created us to love Him with all our heart, and with all our strength. We do this daily just by completing tasks that ultimately help others.
We should celebrate the common workers that we encounter each day because without them you and I could not do what God calls us to do. Billionaires and millionaires are the visible signs of American success; however, it is the worker that we encounter daily that we need to thank. Without them there would be no billionaires or millionaires.