Letters: Fire Department Chaplain; Labor Day Discussion

Robert Siegel and Michele Norris read listener emails about Monday's program.

ROBERT SIEGEL, host: This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

MICHELE NORRIS, host: And I'm Michele Norris. And time now for your comments about two stories on yesterday's program. First, our profile of Father Mychal Judge.

SIEGEL: He was a New York City Fire Department chaplain who died at the World Trade Center on 9/11. He entered the north tower in a rescue effort with a group of firemen. You may remember a photograph of him being carried out later in a chair, limp and covered in dust.

NORRIS: In our story, retired fireman Craig Monahan said it was fitting the way Father Mychal died.

CRAIG MONAHAN: It was as if he took the lead of all those angels, you know, right through heaven's gate, you know. That's what it seemed like to us. And I guess if any of those guys were confused on the way up, he was there to kind of ease the transition, you know, from this life to the next.

NORRIS: Andrew Furrs(ph) was among several of you who appreciated the story. He called it beautiful.

SIEGEL: Furrs writes this, "Hearing about someone so loved in the community being lost in this tragedy doing what he was born to do brought tears to my eyes. We should all be so lucky to make such an impact on our world."

NORRIS: Now, onto comments about another story, Robert, your Labor Day discussion about the way we work now compared with how we worked 40 years ago.

SIEGEL: Well, to summarize, I said it's much more cerebral, a lot less physical, fewer miners, not as many people lugging or shoveling things these days or, as I mentioned yesterday, pushing dumpsters from one place to another.

NORRIS: Well, Laura Legal(ph) of Arcata, California, writes this. "I was a bit disappointed when Robert Siegel mentioned very few physically demanding jobs in good light. Instead, he described those tough jobs as menial." Legal goes on to tell us that she has a Master's degree, but works in an extremely demanding job on an organic farm. And she writes, "I know I am not the only one who chooses to lift, bend, sit, squat and stand all day because it makes me happy. What about those fisher folk, trail repairers, construction workers or landscapers? Just because the job is tough doesn't mean we don't like it."

SIEGEL: Well, thanks for all your comments. You can tell us what you like or not at npr.org. Just click on Contact Us at the bottom of the page.

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