…that Brian Bryant will serve as GVP in the Secretary-Treasurer’s Department at IAM Headquarters while Jim Conigliaro will assume GVP responsibilities for the IAM’s 14-state Eastern Territory.
“Jim Conigliaro and Brian Bryant are among the smartest and most seasoned leaders in our union today,” said Martinez. “We are fortunate to have their loyalty, their experience and their proven commitment to this organization. These new assignments are designed to take full advantage of those assets and I look forward to working closely with them to grow this great union.”
Effective August 1, both assignments are expected to provide members and staff with fresh energy and enthusiasm as the newly-assigned GVPs undertake their respective responsibilities.
ALBERTA WILDFIRESCanada's costliest-ever natural disaster
By Catherine Ngai
CALGARY, July 7 (Reuters) – Insured losses from the May wildfires in Fort McMurray, Alberta, are expected to total C$3.58 billion ($2.76 billion), making it the costliest-ever Canadian natural disaster, an insurance industry group said on Thursday.
The losses far exceed those from the Alberta floods of 2013, which cost about C$1.7 billion in claims, the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) said in a report.
It noted that the biggest previous insurance loss from a wildfire had been C$700 million from one in Slave Lake, Alberta, in 2011.
The wildfires in the oil sands hub of Fort McMurray forced the evacuation of some 90,000 residents, shuttered numerous oil sands operations and cut Canada’s crude output by more than 1 million barrels a day.
IAM members built and launched Juno, which reached its destination after a five-year, 1.8 billion-mile journey to our solar system’s largest planet. Juno was built by Local 44 members at Lockheed Martin in Decatur, AL and launched, in 2011, by IAM Local 610 members at United Launch Alliance in Cape Canaveral, FL.For more see…..juno-we-built-that
IAM International President Bob Martinez announced this week that IAM District 15 New England Area Director and Local 447 Assistant Business Manager Russ Gittlen has been appointed Director of Guide Dogs of America (GDA) effective January 1, 2017. Gittlen will replace retiring GDA Director Dale Hartford.
With the help of the IAM, the school was founded in 1948 after a blind IAM member was rejected for a guide dog due to his age of 57. Since then the union and its generous members have been GDA’s largest financial supporters. To Learn More Click Here…
BACKGROUNDTHE FOURTH OF JULYThe following information is taken from primarily History.Com
Variously known as the Fourth of July and Independence Day, July 4th has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941, but the tradition of Independence Day celebrations goes back to the 18th century and the American Revolution (1775-83). In June 1776, representatives of the 13 colonies then fighting in the revolutionary struggle weighed a resolution that would declare their independence from Great Britain. On July 2nd, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, and two days later its delegates adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson. From 1776 until the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence, with typical festivities ranging from fireworks, parades and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues.
The Birth of American IndependenceWhen the initial battles in the Revolutionary War broke out in April 1775, few colonists desired complete independence from Great Britain, and those who did were considered radical. By the middle of the following year, however, many more colonists had come to favor independence, thanks to growing hostility against Britain and the spread of revolutionary sentiments such as those expressed in Thomas Paine’s bestselling pamphlet “Common Sense,” published in early 1776. On June 7, when the Continental Congress met at the Pennsylvania State House (later Independence Hall) in Philadelphia, the Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee introduced a motion calling for the colonies’ independence. Amid heated debate, Congress postponed the vote on Lee’s resolution, but appointed a five-man committee–including Thomas Jefferson of Virginia, John Adams of Massachusetts, Roger Sherman of Connecticut, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania and Robert R. Livingston of New York–to draft a formal statement justifying the break with Great Britain.On July 2nd, the Continental Congress voted in favor of Lee’s resolution for independence in a near-unanimous vote (the New York delegation abstained, but later voted affirmatively). On that day, John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail that July 2 “will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival” and that the celebration should include “Pomp and Parade…Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other.” On July 4th, the Congress formally adopted the Declaration of Independence, which had been written largely by Jefferson. Though the vote for actual independence took place on July 2nd, from then on the 4th became the day that was celebrated as the birth of American independence.
Early Fourth of July CelebrationsIn the pre-Revolutionary years, colonists had held annual celebrations of the king’s birthday, which traditionally included the ringing of bells, bonfires, processions and speechmaking. By contrast, during the summer of 1776 some colonists celebrated the birth of independence by holding mock funerals for King George III, as a way of symbolizing the end of the monarchy’s hold on America and the triumph of liberty. Festivities including concerts, bonfires, parades and the firing of cannons and muskets usually accompanied the first public readings of the Declaration of Independence, beginning immediately after its adoption. Philadelphia held the first annual commemoration of independence on July 4, 1777, while Congress was still occupied with the ongoing war. George Washington issued double rations of rum to all his soldiers to mark the anniversary of independence in 1778, and in 1781, several months before the key American victory at Yorktown, Massachusetts became the first state to make July 4th an official state holiday.After the Revolutionary War, Americans continued to commemorate Independence Day every year, in celebrations that allowed the new nation’s emerging political leaders to address citizens and create a feeling of unity. By the last decade of the 18th century, the two major political parties–Federalists and Democratic-Republicans–that had arisen began holding separate Independence Day celebrations in many large cities.
July 4th Becomes A National HolidayThe tradition of patriotic celebration became even more widespread after the War of 1812, in which the United States again faced Great Britain. In 1870, the U.S. Congress made July 4th a federal holiday; in 1941, the provision was expanded to grant a paid holiday to all federal employees. Over the years, the political importance of the holiday would decline, but Independence Day remained an important national holiday and a symbol of patriotism.Falling in mid-summer, the Fourth of July has since the late 19th century become a major focus of leisure activities and a common occasion for family get-togethers, often involving fireworks and outdoor barbecues. The most common symbol of the holiday is the American flag, and a common musical accompaniment is “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the national anthem of the United States.
John Adams believed that July 2nd was the correct date on which to celebrate the birth of American independence, and would reportedly turn down invitations to appear at July 4th events in protest. Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on July 4, 1826–the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.
“The historical importance of nominating Hillary Clinton is not just political. It is significant for women at every level of American society,” said IAM International President Bob Martinez. “Now, the contrast between Sec. Clinton and her opponent in November could not be clearer. This union was one of the first to endorse her and we are going to be there with her every step of the way in this campaign.”
Clinton, an honorary IAM member, has pledged to protect workers’ rights to collectively bargain, expand paid leave and raise the minimum wage. Her agenda includes plans to rejuvenate the U.S. manufacturing sector considering workers’ interests, not just those of corporations. Read more about the historic milestone …
Every year, federal employees are forced to endure increasingly anti-worker legislation that cuts into the bottom line of their family’s budget. Legislative Conference is a yearly coordinated effort to speak up for America’s dedicated civil servants. And this year’s attendance of Legislative Conference demonstrated that the fight is alive and well with NFFE-IAM members, and that they will not take these baseless attacks lying down. Standing shoulder-to-shoulder with IAM brothers and sisters, NFFE-IAM members educated members of Congress on the real cost of treating federal employees like an ATM to balance the federal budget. For too long, Congress has attempted to balance the federal budget on the back of the federal workforce, but NFFE-IAM, with their Union brothers and sisters, stood up and said “enough is enough.”
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs….Office of Public Affairs
Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans — the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) — established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30. It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country.
The first large observance was held that year at Arlington National Cemetery, across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C.
The ceremonies centered around the mourning-draped veranda of the Arlington mansion, once the home of Gen. Robert E. Lee. Various Washington officials, including Gen. and Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant, presided over the ceremonies. After speeches, children from the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Orphan Home and members of the GAR made their way through the cemetery, strewing flowers on both Union and Confederate graves, reciting prayers and singing hymns.
Local Observances Claim To Be First Local springtime tributes to the Civil War dead already had been held in various places. One of the first occurred in Columbus, Miss., April 25, 1866, when a group of women visited a cemetery to decorate the graves of Confederate soldiers who had fallen in battle at Shiloh. Nearby were the graves of Union soldiers, neglected because they were the enemy. Disturbed at the sight of the bare graves, the women placed some of their flowers on those graves, as well.
Today, cities in both the North and the South claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day in 1866. Both Macon and Columbus, Ga., claim the title, as well as Richmond, Va. The village of Boalsburg, Pa., claims it began there two years earlier. A stone in a Carbondale, Ill., cemetery carries the statement that the first Decoration Day ceremony took place there on April 29, 1866. Carbondale was the wartime home of Gen. Logan. Approximately 25 places have been named in connection with the origin of Memorial Day, many of them in the South where most of the war dead were buried.
Official Birthplace Declared In 1966, Congress and President Lyndon Johnson declared Waterloo, N.Y., the “birthplace” of Memorial Day. There, a ceremony on May 5, 1866, honored local veterans who had fought in the Civil War. Businesses closed and residents flew flags at half-staff. Supporters of Waterloo’s claim say earlier observances in other places were informal, not community-wide or one-time events.
By the end of the 19th century, Memorial Day ceremonies were being held on May 30 throughout the nation. State legislatures passed proclamations designating the day, and the Army and Navy adopted regulations for proper observance at their facilities.
It was not until after World War I, however, that the day was expanded to honor those who have died in all American wars. In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday by an act of Congress, though it is still often called Decoration Day. It was then also placed on the last Monday in May, as were some other federal holidays.
Some States Have Confederate Observances Many Southern states also have their own days for honoring the Confederate dead. Mississippi celebrates Confederate Memorial Day on the last Monday of April, Alabama on the fourth Monday of April, and Georgia on April 26. North and South Carolina observe it on May 10, Louisiana on June 3 and Tennessee calls that date Confederate Decoration Day. Texas celebrates Confederate Heroes Day January 19 and Virginia calls the last Monday in May Confederate Memorial Day.
Gen. Logan’s order for his posts to decorate graves in 1868 “with the choicest flowers of springtime” urged: “We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. … Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners. Let no neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.”
The crowd attending the first Memorial Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery was approximately the same size as those that attend today’s observance, about 5,000 people. Then, as now, small American flags were placed on each grave — a tradition followed at many national cemeteries today. In recent years, the custom has grown in many families to decorate the graves of all departed loved ones.
The origins of special services to honor those who die in war can be found in antiquity. The Athenian leader Pericles offered a tribute to the fallen heroes of the Peloponnesian War over 24 centuries ago that could be applied today to the 1.1 million Americans who have died in the nation’s wars: “Not only are they commemorated by columns and inscriptions, but there dwells also an unwritten memorial of them, graven not on stone but in the hearts of men.”
To ensure the sacrifices of America’s fallen heroes are never forgotten, in December 2000, the U.S. Congress passed and the president signed into law “The National Moment of Remembrance Act,” P.L. 106-579, creating the White House Commission on the National Moment of Remembrance. The commission’s charter is to “encourage the people of the United States to give something back to their country, which provides them so much freedom and opportunity” by encouraging and coordinating commemorations in the United States of Memorial Day and the National Moment of Remembrance.
The National Moment of Remembrance encourages all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation. As Moment of Remembrance founder Carmella LaSpada states: “It’s a way we can all help put the memorial back in Memorial Day.”
There are many variations of the claim to the first recognition of Memorial Day depending on where you search, what part of the U.S. you are from and such. I happen to find this claim in the Charleston, S.C. slave community very convincing. I invite you to do further research on your own. The WebSteward
Memorial Day First Recognized by Blacks in Charleston, SC?
Article appearing on BLACKAMERICAWEB.COM
Memorial Day holds a special place for many Americans, especially those who serve in the nation’s military. While past and current members of the armed forces are most certainly honored, what few realize is that the practice of celebrating America’s soldiers gained popularity due to a group of freed Blacks in the South.
In the town of Charleston in South Carolina, the celebration of what was called “Decoration Day” was held to give respects to fallen soldiers from the Union Army in the North. The Civil War ended on April 9, 1865, with the Union victorious over its Confederate foes. In order to celebrate the victory and honor the dead, on May 1 of that year around 10,000 freed Black men and women gathered in historic Hampton Park.
The group placed flowers on the graves of unknown soldiers, a practice held often in times of war. The event caught the attention of the nation, and it was largely understood by Whites to be a celebration of the Emancipation Proclamation passing in 1863. However, it was far more than that for those gathered.
The town was a Confederate stronghold, and over 250 soldiers died as prisoners there as Union forces began to overtake the region. The Confederate soldiers buried the dead in unmarked graves and fled in fear. The freed Blacks who came to the Decoration Day event viewed those soldiers as martyrs who died selflessly for their freedom. While there were Black soldiers in the Union Army, the celebration was in honor of all who fought for the winning side.
David Blight, a history professor at Yale University, has credited the Black population of Charleston as the inventors of the first Memorial Day celebration although other cities have made similar claims in attempts to dispute Blight’s research. Still, most historians agree that it is at least the first widely recognized celebration of fallen soldiers in history.
What To Remember
Col. Paul Cook (Ret.) represents California’s 8th Congressional District and currently serves on the House Armed Services, Foreign Affairs, and Natural Resources committees. He served in the United States Marine Corps for 26 years, earning two Purple Hearts and the Bronze Star Medal with a V for Valor.
Operating in the shadows, on battlefields few Americans hear about, the warriors of US Special Operations Command (SOCOM) fight to keep America safe from terrorists and madmen. They fight Islamic extremists, drug lords, and third world tyrants in dangerous and difficult locations, from Syria and Libya to the Congo and South America. They stop suicide bombers before they strike and rescue hostages held in some of the darkest and most oppressive corners of the globe.
While I celebrate all of our service members as heroes, the operators inside SOCOM are a breed apart and take on our country’s most difficult missions. Since coming to Congress, I’ve been proud to work on a variety of issues in support of these brave warriors. We’re a better, safer nation because of the sacrifices made by these troops and their families. The least I can do in return is to make sure they always have the tools and training they need to accomplish their missions and come home safely.
When we hear about the exploits of SOCOM, it’s usually only the glorious few moments at the end of an operation that get attention. From the dramatic raid that killed Bin Laden to rescuing hostages held at sea, the media often focuses only on a situation’s final dramatic moments. What we don’t hear about, and should honor, are the months of toil and sacrifice it takes to accomplish these missions. Special operators aren’t made overnight. It takes years of training to develop these warriors. They grind through endless exercises, rehearsing and rehearsing again, all while honing their skills to a razor’s edge. There are no easy days in this community. The need to respond at a moment’s notice means the families of these operators must sacrifice, too, with countless dance recitals and baseball games taking a back seat to the needs of the nation.
Our special operations forces endure some of the worst conditions on earth to get to their targets and accomplish their missions. They deploy in dive teams from submarines in frigid waters and parachute from altitudes so high they need their own oxygen bottles to survive. Crossing burning deserts or impenetrable mountains are often just par for the course on their missions. Most of all, they do these deeds in the shadows, away from the public eye and recognition for their sacrifices. This secrecy is part and parcel of being in SOCOM, just part of the job. Yet, I’m unwilling to take their sacrifices for granted.
Our special operations forces have a long and distinguished linage. From the brave pioneers of the First Special Service Force to the Marine Raiders of World War II, today’s forces like the Army Rangers and Navy SEALs have a proud history of victory and distinction to draw upon. We must honor their stories, and their sacrifices. Too often, the media only pauses to mention these special operators when one of them falls on the battlefield. It shouldn’t take the tragic loss of a hero like Navy SEAL Charlie Keating, killed in Iraq fighting ISIS, for us to stop and honor these brave warriors. As Memorial Day approaches, I encourage each of you to pause for a moment and think about the sacrifices of not just the troops who so gallantly serve in the open, but also our special operators, fighting and dying in the shadows so that the rest of us may live free.
This interesting segment appeared in a post on Facebook around 18 May 2016. The contents of the information presented and the opinions expressed in this posting does not necessarily reflect the views of the Union locallodge2297.org nor the IAM goiam.org. Please refer all comments and/or questions to the writers and or contributors of the Washington Post organization.
Nearly 1 in 3 workers in NC earn a wage below the federal poverty line – the second worst in the nation. Nearly half of all workers in our state – 47.5% – make less than $15 per hour. The soaring cost of living means it would take $21.95 per hour to get by on a frugal budget without public assistance for a family of three in North Carolina.
If They Are Not In The Union, We Will Put Them In The Union. Strength In Numbers Organize*Organize*Organize!