Today is Workers’ Memorial Day, on which individuals who have died on the job oar honored in ceremonies all over the country.
A Workers’ Memorial Day reminds us of the people behind the statistics of those who died from workplace accidents, with their names, ages and how they died.
Many invoke, for the day, a motto attributed to Mary Harris (“Mother”) Jones, a schoolteacher who became a prominent labor organizer. Jones was called “the most dangerous woman in America” for her success in bringing together mine workers and leveraging their collective force against mine owners for better conditions and wages.
Jones uttered the phrase still used by occupational safety advocates more than a hundred years later: “Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living.”