A Labor Day Message

Dear Source:
This Labor Day will greet most Virgin Islanders in a manner familiar to other citizens throughout the United States. We live in a country where our people still enjoy a standard of living which is deemed attractive in many countries throughout the world. Most of us have a roof over our heads and can enjoy at least two square meals per day. Our children can attend a public school and receive a decent education.
However, the standard of living in America and in these islands is becoming troublesome for too many of our citizens. The ability to own a home, send children to college and receive quality health care is not within easy reach for too many of our citizens. Far too many are working full time jobs and are not earning enough income to adequately support their families. The high incident of drug crime in our neighborhoods is also eroding our quality of life.
It is no longer acceptable for us to engage in the "blame game syndrome" many of us have become very skillful at playing. As we celebrate this Labor Day we must all take stock of our ability to make a difference in our own lives and the livelihood of our neighbors. We must be willing to play an active role in re-shaping the destiny of our island and our nation. We can no longer stay on the sidelines and allow others to fully control the process of forging new and brighter paths to improve the quality of our lives.
Let us not forget labor leaders such as David Hamilton Jackson, Earle B. Ottley, and Hugo Dennis. Jr., and countless others, who paved the way for many of the benefits we enjoy today such as the eight hour work day, overtime pay, holiday pay, health insurance and the right- to- strike.
These islands and our country will have the ability to elect new political leaders in the upcoming election. One of these leaders will be Senator Barack Obama who is seeking to become the next President of the United States of America. Although citizens of these islands cannot vote for the President allow me to urge you to influence those who can to assist with the election of a candidate who offers real change for America.
In closing, allow me to remind all who are eligible to vote, especially registered Democrats, to participate in our upcoming Primary Elections on September 13, 2008.
Do have an enjoyable and relaxing Labor Day!
Glen J. Smith
St. Thomas

Editor's note: We welcome and encourage readers to keep the dialogue going by responding to Source commentary. Letters should be e-mailed with name and place of residence to source@viaccess.net.

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