Words for May Day

May 2, 2011

After attending the underwhelming May Day Rally in Union Square and marching down Broadway to the finale in Foley Square, I wandered over to the Lower East Side, to Grand Street, to the Hillman Houses.  I went there to read Labor Leader Sidney Hillman’s simple and beautiful words on the plaque before the entrance of the cooperative housing complex that bears his name.

Sidney Hillman  (1887 – 1946) became the head of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America and was a founding member of the Congress of Industrial Organizations.

He was also a man  of  vision, the kind of  vision one seldom if ever hears  today.

Hillman’s words tell us how far we, as a nation, have fallen from our humanity; tell us how far we, as a nation, have to rise again to begin to regain our humanity.

They are excellent words to contemplate on any day but they seem especially appropriate in this age on May Day.

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