Senator Bill Heath

On Monday, September 7th, our nation will observe Labor Day and we can enjoy a long weekend without our usual labors. What began as a state holiday in Oregon in 1887, Labor Day has been celebrated as a national work holiday since 1894. Georgia has a rich history of recognizing hard work and promoting prosperity as a "right to work" state. Today, Georgia is among 25 "right-to-work" states, meaning workers in those states cannot be compelled to organize into unions.

The freedom to work for a business or build your own business is fundamental to the American dream. It is often attacked with burdensome regulations and harsh tax treatment. Even with prosperity and success under siege, many have still labored on to find economic prosperity, financial stability and, ultimately, monetary freedom.

It is a fundamental design and belief that our nation still has opportunities for economic prosperity for those who choose to persevere and earn it. Whether you are an employee or employer, America is still a land of great opportunity. Through hard work and dedication Americans have the good fortune to enjoy luxuries that many around the world can't even imagine. In America, one can choose where to work or what kind of product or service they wish to provide.

However, because of the successes and freedoms of our nation, and the freedom that we have fought to defend around the world, we are a target. Every day, men and women defend our nation from those who wish to ruin celebrations of freedom and prosperity. Even when our country is on hard times, our quality of living is still one of the best in the world.

We should never take the freedoms that we enjoy for granted. The hope our nation stands for made us an international target fourteen years ago when terrorists flew hijacked commercial airplanes into the World Trade Center Towers. They chose to attack those towers because they stood as a beacon of our economic place in the world. In that terrible attack on our freedom and way of life, over 2600 innocent men, women and children lost their lives in the World Trade Center towers. Another 125 died in the Pentagon and 246 passengers were lost on the four planes that were used as weapons that fateful day. Though the human cost was great, without the bravery of first responders and civilians who saved countless lives in the face of profound fear, many more would have been lost.

The attacks on our nation did not go unanswered. Even today, the men and women of our nation's military are deployed all around the world to help guard what we so often take for granted here in the homeland.

This Labor Day weekend, as you celebrate the freedom, hard work, and prosperity our country stands for, I pray that you count your blessings in earnest because on September 11th, 2001, normal Americans were targeted for theirs.

Have a safe and happy Labor Day weekend and don't forget to thank those who serve in our military and law enforcement for guarding the way of life we take for granted.

As the state Senator for Georgia's 31st District, if I can ever be of assistance, please contact me at billheath@billheath.net.