Sunday, September 10, 2006


My father, who will be 82 on Friday, has marched in the Labor Day Parade every year since 1960. Yesterday, though, he had to sit it out. He's recovering from a hernia operation he had last Tuesday, which was hot on the heels of recovering from a cataract operation. Like many guys of his generation, his crumbling infrastructure can't keep up with his energy.

Labor Day was originally created to celebrate trade unions, which aren't as popular now as they were when my father joined one. Now, Labor Day just means the end of summer, Jerry Lewis, and sales. Jerry is almost as old as my father, and it's not inconceivable that one day there will no longer be a Jerry. The original meaning of Labor Day has been obscured already, and 100 years from now it could be something else entirely, if it's still celebrated at all.

I wonder how people will commemorate September 11 a hundred years from now. "Prices are crashing down!"

Probably not. It'll be more like the JFK assassination, with TV specials, docudramas, examinations of conspiracy theories, stuff like that. In fact, we've got a jump on the future already, because that's how it's being observed right now.

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