Happy Labor Day to all my friends in America. It is hard to believe that another summer has come and gone and the fall is upon us. I sit here and ponder where have the years gone. Labor Day kicks off a season of celebrations and evokes memories of years gone by.
Nine short years ago I was living in Washington, DC fulfilling my lifelong dream of working in the Administration of President George W. Bush. You see Labor Day holds a special place in my heart because in September 2001, I was working for the U.S. Department of Labor Day. One of the best years of my life was my time at the Department, first working for the Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration where I gained valuable insight into government and had the honor of working on issues that affect all Americans such as retirement security and protecting workers pensions.
After six months in a policy office, I was asked by Secretary Elaine Chao to move to her front office to handle scheduling and events for the department. At the time, this was one of the more trying moments in my career with the Administration. The Secretary expected the very best from her staff and we all strived to uphold her expectations. Many days I was working until midnight or on weekends to meet her expectations. Looking back at those nine months I treasure the friendships I made, the experience I gained, and the work ethic that Secretary Chao instilled in me. I had opportunities to work on events that honored the men that rescued the nine miners trapped in Pennsylvania, a Veterans Day event where Secretary Tom Ridge honored the veterans at the Department, and throughout the year on summits that focused on women and entrepreneurship.
The time I spent with the Department of Labor will forever hold a special place in my heart. Nine years later I realize that I am part of a small group of people that had an opportunity to influence the policy that shaped the American workforce. Secretary Chao was one of the few secretaries to serve all eight years under President Bush, and during her time in office she made great strides to make life better for all of us.
So on this Labor Day, I take a moment to reflect on my time at the Department, to cherish the friendships that continue to this day, and for the leadership that Secretary Chao showed all of us. The experience I gained I will forever be thankful, sometimes a little time and distance makes us understand life a little better and appreciate the long hours and hard work.
I hope all of you enjoy your Labor Day holiday and are ready for an exciting fall season.