Lifeguard duty on Labor Day

Monday - 9/1/2014, 2:00am EDT

Even though it's a holiday, lots of federal and military personnel are on duty today.

Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the number of federal-military people filling slots on a 24/7 basis has increased dramatically. Chances are, especially if you live in the D.C. area, some of your friends and neighbors are at the "office" today. It may be a real, air-conditioned office or border patrol, doing customs duty and checking people and cargo at airports.

Because most Americans (if you can escape retail and restaurant work) are off today, it is difficult for them to believe or understand that thousands of so-called bureaucrats — many of them highly trained and armed — are on the job. If you doubt it, check out the parking lots at the Pentagon or (very carefully) at the CIA and National Security Agency. The Defense Intelligence Agency, State Department and other places are up and running too.

So as we always conclude:

If you are off today enjoy it. Have fun. Be careful.

And if you are working, a special thanks. And be careful out there.


By Michael O'Connell

On Aug. 26, 1935, 12 days after President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law, appropriations for its implementation died in Congress. Fortunately, the Department of Labor gave the Social Security Board start up-funds later that year and the rest is history.

Source: Social Security Administration.

Tip of the hat to Factoid Fan Nick St. Amant for the assist — M.O'C


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