Today we’re invited to look up at the heavens and take in the cosmic ballet that is celebrated by Astronomy Day, from stars to dust clouds and quarks to quasars. And yet there’s another occasion that requires our attention, as well as our respect and remembrance: Workers’ Memorial Day.

These double occasions can sometimes prove quite a challenge, especially when they focus on very different types of activity. And yet, sometimes that can make them fit together very nicely indeed. Take last Sunday as an example, which saw Earth Day mixed with Jelly Bean Day; the outcome was me planting a jelly bean tree in a bid to give something back to Mother Nature, regardless of how infeasible the desired result.

Now, I openly admit that I’m far from religious; in fact, I’m happy to go all out and declare that I’m an atheist. Still, I respect other people’s beliefs and appreciate the beauty of faith. A concept of which I’m particularly fond is that stars are the souls of the departed, looking down with calm, caring, twinkling eyes. And even if I don’t share this belief myself, it still links in with the scientific viewpoint that, as Moby succinctly puts it, we are all made of stars.

I don’t know anyone who died as a result of their work, but today I’m thinking about others whose friends or family members may have experienced such misfortune. And wherever you live, even if it’s in a big city with bright lights that obscure the glow of other solar systems, you should hopefully be able to spot a star or two in the night sky. Those stars were seen by our most distant ancestors and will be seen by children in the far, far future. They were also seen by those remembered by Workers’ Memorial Day, so let us view them with these people in mind and appreciate their glow that little bit more than usual.

Image credit: Your Favorite Martian


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