Workers’ Memorial Day 2021

Published: Apr 28 2021 8:05AM

Last Workers’ Memorial Day, we noted the unheralded nature of railroad work and its sudden and deserved moment in the spotlight during the beginning days of the COVID-19 pandemic. We wrote that as the months went on, and the virus lingered, the risk would hang in the air with it, likely long after the goodwill and public kudos faded away.

We have lost over a dozen BMWED members to COVID-19. That is more than we have lost to any at-work injury in years. In a profession that is inherently dangerous and too often deadly, COVID-19 increased the risk railroaders encounter every time they lace up their boots.

The good news is things are looking brighter. Vaccines are here and many BMWED members are safer now than last April. The nation’s supply chain and the overall economy is rallying, thanks directly to the work of Brotherhood rank-and-file members, who quite literally put their lives on the line to keep our country moving forward.

Today, and every day, we remember those who lost their lives on the job. We promise to hold their legacies on high, to never forget their tragic sacrifice, even when the world moves beyond the pandemic into more “normal” times. Railroaders served a critical role in sustaining us through this past year, one that was challenging and dangerous, and that service will be forever remembered.