My son and I arrived in Phoenix to 115 degree heat, drove up to Monument Valley, over to the Grand Canyon and then the Hoover Dam. All the while temperatures were at least 105. But none of these days reached the record-breaking heat that the workers on the dam experienced their first summer on the project when the thermometer hit 119.
I was tooling around in an air-conditioned car and sleeping in air-conditioned hotel rooms. There was no manual labor involved. Imagine working 10 hours a day in that heat, loaded down with equipment. Just keeping a mental focus alone would be a challenge, let alone swinging heavy tools.
Hard work that built our infrastructure makes it possible for us to focus on our daily activities, care for our families and enjoy the luxuries of modern life. However, today there are still many who toil in the hot sun as a matter of course.
When we were driving from Phoenix to Sedona on the first leg of our trip, we were delayed by a brushfire that swept across the interstate. Out in the 115 degree heat, a police officer was darting from car to car, patiently explaining to motorists why they had to turn around and offering directions. When I rolled down my window to speak with him, I could smell the heavy exhaust that was in the air from the surrounding traffic. Yet, he came over with a smile on his face and had a very nice, brief, interaction with us.
I am grateful to all who work in difficult conditions to make our lives easier and safer. Next time things take a little longer or are more difficult than I would like, I will remember these servants and take the time to give gratitude for them.