Friday, August 30, 2013

Labor Day Remembered

Commemorative flags fly over downtown Amherst

So yes, the commemorative flags went up this morning -- not to greet returning students as they flock by the thousands back to our formerly bucolic little "college town" -- but to remember the struggles of the post industrial age labor movement in America.

Or, since people died in that sometimes violent struggle, perhaps I should use the word "commemorate."

On the night of September 10, 2001 during the two-hour Select Board discussion of when the flags could fly, one SB member did take note, however, of how "nice" the flags would look on a late summer weekend as the town greets the other half of the population that will reside here for the next nine months.

What the Select Board of today fails to grasp is the delicacy of timing.

Between now and 9/11 so many simple things -- even just the weather -- can trip memories of twelve years ago: any late summer morning with the sun shining high and bright with a "severe clear" blue sky for a background, will do it.

Or the bells of St. Brigid's Church calling the faithful to Sunday morning sermon, just as on THAT Tuesday morning the bells suddenly began to ring and it seemed like they would never stop.

The commemorative flags did return to their perch, at half staff, that awful morning.  It seemed to bring comfort to the traumatized, as it should.

And should again.


Dr. Ed said...

I have always been struck how the flags are up when the parents bring their children into town, and in the spring when they come to take them home -- and how Amherst really doesn't have the courage to show the parents what the town truly is like.

Anonymous said...

So what is

the town
truly like

Anonymous said...

Huh? It's a wonderful town. It's pretty, there's lots to do, so what's to dislike.