HISTORIC WWII LABOR DAY POEM
Originally appeared in newspapers across the country on August 30, 1941
I am Labor. I stand before you on this, my day, free and proud. I am the incarnation of Work, and Work is the foundation of modern civilization. Before the silvery bombers can take the air my skilled fingers have fashioned and serviced them. The shining shell, the precise rifle, the intricate clockwork of tank and ship, these grew beneath the trained and intelligent hands with which I get my living.
Because the things I do are basic and necessary, I yeld my dignity to no man. Because of that dignity, I prize my manhood and my freedom. I shall defend it. To those who would degrade me to an automation, make me a slave, I return loud and scornful laughter. Here in my United States I am more than a Worker, more than a Laborer, I am a Man. This manhood, this freedom, on my own Labor Day of 1941, I do not propose to yield.