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Nation rallies to cause

Today’s Labor Day observance should focus not only on how American workers have enabled this nation to remain an uninterrupted economic engine with positive impacts around the world.

On this holiday, people of this land also should be reflecting on how America’s workforce will mobilize on behalf of the people of Texas and Louisiana, big parts of which suffered catastrophic damage from Hurricane/Tropical Storm Harvey.

Amid the current difficulties, the affected states should experience some sense of comfort that, as soon as receding waters permit, people whom this holiday honors will be stepping forward to help victims in any way that they can.

That occurred in the wake of the Hurricane Katrina catastrophe of August 2005, which caused massive destruction in and around New Orleans; after a storm in August 2016 that dumped about 30 inches of rain over 32 consecutive hours on the Baton Rouge, Louisiana, area; and after a number of storms in other locations between those two tragic events.

There might even be more calls for help from America’s workforce in the weeks ahead, if this year’s hurricane season remains active — and there already are conditions indicating that it might.

Amid all the loss and heartache leading up to Labor Day 2017, however, there remains the opportunity for many Americans to enjoy the day as they’ve done in the past.

Labor Day traditionally has been regarded as the unofficial end of summer, even though autumn doesn’t officially begin until Sept. 22.

Because the Labor Day holiday weekend is among the busiest travel weekends of the year, it’s important for all travelers to keep their safety and others’ in the forefront of their consciousness.

Safety also must govern the many recreational activities that will be available.

However, people here shouldn’t forget about participating in official observances tied to the holiday.

Available as part of Labor Day’s menu of activities will be special sales offered by retailers. Many end-of-summer values will be available in terms of clothing, outdoor recreational furniture and equipment, and even non-summer items that retailers want to sell to make room for new merchandise.

Labor Day not only is a celebration but also a busy holiday.

Of course, many activities today could not be possible if there weren’t members of the labor community at work, as they are on any other Monday.

But it’s probable that many other people in this region who normally aren’t on the job on Labor Day will be devoting their energies on behalf of Harvey’s victims — helping to gather supplies and other resources that will be sent to hurricane-stricken states.

The need there is so massive that it’s hard to fathom how those needs can be fully met.

Likewise, there are the potential health issues stemming from the flooding, polluted water and other hazards that the stricken areas will encounter and have to address — in many cases with an outpouring of help from places across the nation, including Blair and surrounding counties.

The nation can rest assured that whatever the need, American labor will be on the scene, with the individual talents and volunteer spirit that always are with them.

This year, Labor Day represents so much more than a fun holiday.

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