GROUND ZERO – Today marks the ten year anniversary of the darkest day in American history. The number of years does not make the events more significant or feelings less emotional. What I do know is this: New Yorkers move on – and Americans, too – better than anyone. Witness what is a daily occurrence, weather permitting, downtown at the crossing of city streets Liberty & Church. Hardhats performing their skilled labor pouring concrete foundations, if not fortresses, operating heavy equipment that moves equal tonnage effortlessly, and scaling steel beams to rivet a new strength to one of the new buildings at the site of the former World Trade Center.
These workers are the same kind of New York hands originally putting up those two buildings in the early 1970’s. Some of those same hands also helped remove victims and rubble piece by piece, and bucket by bucket, to stabilize areas before machines could assist in removal. While we appreciate the courageous efforts of first responders who had anything to do with September 11th – and nobody lost more than the 343 hardhats of the NYFD – let’s give thanks to who and what is going on currently.
It’s all about Joe Average NY and if you know anything about me, I’m all for the working guy because he gets f*cked the most of any class. That’s why he’s always saying “Go f*ck yourself”! Union labor is a sore subject to some but a badge of brotherhood to members and others and a hard way to make a good buck. These are the guys who drink domestic beer, roll up the daily paper in half twice to fit in the back pocket, and whistle while they work at the likes of our Lori Levine and Cookie. The swollen and scarred strong hands are first to help and the last to ask for it. Progress is little without him and his brotherhood. Alone he wouldn’t get it done, together they build America.
My grandfather helped build railroads and my dad helped maintain them to get the freight trains across the country. It’s only fitting that across the country on Sunday, a day of rest, the helmeted players of the NFL kickoff the 2011 season ‘cause nobody enjoys football more than Joe Average. Ceremonies will commemorate ten years past and now as we continue moving on and looking forward as a nation and city the John Wayne of the work force is carrying the ball – and he won’t fumble.
To the three thousand families directly affected, we think of you.
West Coast Craig, tomorrow.