By Heather Kinder
RACINE – The 78th annual Labor Day Celebration was held at John Slack Memorial Park in Racine on Monday, September 5, 2016.
There was live music, a pig roast and a jupiter jump for the kids. The keynote speaker for this year’s celebration was UMWA International President Cecil E. Roberts.
When Roberts spoke he got the crowd excited and fired up about the UMWA’s upcoming bus trip to Washington, D.C.
Roberts said, “All we want to do when we go to Washington is do what we have done our entire lives get up, go to work and do the job like we have done our job all of our life.”
He also recognized the men and women who served or are actively serving in the military.
“West Virginia is the most patriotic state in these United States” Roberts said.
Before leaving the stage Roberts introduced Jim Justice, W. VA. Gubernatorial Candidate to the stage.
Justice said, “I believe in you. I believe in labor. I believe in your Union.”
Elaine Purkey sang the National Anthem for the Labor Day celebration. Her husband is also a UMWA member. Purkey said, “Labor Day is a day of reflection and a chance to shoot some energy into the young people.”
Abby Bolton, a freshman from Sherman High School was part of the live music entertainment. The crowd enjoyed a variety of songs Bolton sang.
Bolton said, “Labor Day is a day to celebrate all the workers that work hard for our state.”
Ted Hapney, of the UMWA said, “This day is more than just gathering with friends and family, it’s about honoring all those workers who fought for the rights and benefits we enjoy today.”
This Labor Day Celebration is held annually in Boone County to celebrate the American worker.
(Heather Kinder is a reporter for the Coal Valley News. She can be contacted at 304-369-1165)