Freedom of who, what, where, why, and how

Here in northern Illinois we have a great festival each Labor Day weekend. Saturday, as I sat in the rain we've been waiting for all summer and listened to a mariachi band, I found myself reflecting on the luxury of being a writer in the United States today. First of all, writing mostly happens indoors, which was a strong selling point this weekend. Secondly, being a writer suggests that you have a job, also a very good thing in the Midwest this year.

More important, though,  being an American writer means having the First Amendment to the U. S. Constitution that sets out freedoms of the press, assembly, speech, religion, and petition. Since it's the United States Constitution, we don't stop by declaring our freedoms. We also have peace officers, the armed forces and dozens of other service groups working together to ensure that those freedoms are actually a part of everyone's daily life.

It really is delightful that while enjoying summer, Americans also take time to celebrate Memorial Day, Independence Day, and finally Labor Day. These holidays remind us of the founders and protectors of American liberty and of the hundreds of millions of Americans who freely choose and shoulder their share of the work that must be done to keep a free nation fit and functional.

For my own part, after forty-some years working in industry, I have the luxury of observing and writing about it today. This means that I owe a vote of thanks to yet another group of American and international friends – the readers who make this job worth doing.

So please accept my thanks to you all, those who make industry work and those who keep guys like me free to write and talk about it.