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Sept. 5, 2015

To a Senior Scribe about Labor Day
Susan D. Olling

To the editor,
I started reading the Senior Scribe’s piece “Labor Day?!”.  I stopped after the sentences “No Federal employees work it. How is that?”.  A bit of education seems to be in order. 
Contrary to the assertion of the Senior Scribe, there will be federal employees working on Labor Day. 
Have you visited a national park on Labor Day?  The rangers you see at national parks are National Park Service (NPS) employees.  The National Park Service is a unit of the United States Department of Interior. The U.S. Forest Service, a unit of the United States Department of Agriculture, has forest rangers in national forests.  The Army Corps of Engineers has park rangers.  All these rangers are federal employees.  Unless their work schedule has them with Monday off as part of their weekend, or they take the day off, these rangers will  be working Labor Day.  Oh yes, some rangers are fortunate to have a “normal” weekend, but most do not.  For trivia buffs, the only day the National Mall and Memorial Parks are closed is December 25.  It’s the only unit in the NPS system that closes just one day per year. 
Medical staffs at Veterans Administration hospitals will be working on Labor Day.  Those physicians, nurses, and others are federal employees.  Federal firefighters (including those fighting the forest fires in the west), federal law enforcement, and military (obviously) will be working on Labor Day.  Air traffic controllers and TSA agents are also federal employees and working on Labor Day.  Lock tenders on the navigable rivers (the Ohio River, for example) are also federal employees and will be working on Labor Day.. 
This list seems to refute the Scribe’s assertion about no federal employees working on Labor Day.
I would be curious to know where the Scribe got her information to make such a blanket statement.
Susan D. Olling
Gaithersburg, MD

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