Archive for January, 2019
With the recent passing of George H.W. Bush, there has been a lot of talk about funerals in the news lately. Presidential funerals are a nation-wide focus as the country mourns the loss of a great leader. And with most presidents beginning to plan their funerals after they move into the White House, each presidential funeral has both custom traditions mixed with personal wishes. So let’s take a look at a few presidential funeral traditions we’ve seen over the years. While each president has the opportunity to incorporate personal aspects into their funeral services, there are a few rites and ceremonies that are seen among the majority of presidential funerals. For example, there is often a public viewing of the closed casket held in the president’s home state. Additionally, the funeral procession tends to be the same — the procession is along Constitution Avenue in Washington D.C. towards the intersection of Constitution and 16th street. The procession will end at the U.S. Capitol, where a formal memorial service is held. Over the years, presidential funeral traditions have changed and adapted. The first U.S. president to have a publicly conducted funeral was Abraham Lincoln after his assassination in 1865. His funeral lead to the beginning of “state funerals”, giving the public, including even you the opportunity to pay your respects if desired. Following John F. Kennedy’s assassination, the U.S. government issued a process of funeral planning details and protocols that should be followed after a president’s death. It wasn’t until the late 1960’s that presidents began to plan their own funerals so people knew the protocols they wished to be followed. Planning a funeral in advance isn’t just common among presidents — an AARP survey found that one in three people have begun funeral pre-planning and one in four people have even pre-paid for their funeral. George H.W. Bush’s funeral followed many traditions, like having the presence of all living presidents. But there were also personal details incorporated, like wearing socks with planes in memory of his World War II service. All funerals give you the opportunity to pay your respects and this is especially true with presidential funerals. While some aspects are reserved for friends and family, most presidential funerals allow the public to say goodbye to a distinguished leader.
Both the U.S. and Canada are facing critical carrier truck driver shortages. A study conducted in 2016 by the Trucking Alliance of Canada estimated that the industry will be short a shocking 34,000 drivers by 2024; one container trucking company in Northern Ontario has already been forced to leave 20 trucks sitting idle due to the dropoff in interested workers. “The driver shortage became more acute in 2018 due to the fact that we have a large percentage of individuals over the age of 55 driving,” said Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) president Stephen Laskowski, who also happens to be the president of the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA). “We’re facing older demographics, more retirements and, at the same time, more demand. It’s only expected it to get worse in 2019. This is an issue from a supply-chain perspective and we need to find a solution to it.” Heavy haul and container trucking companies make up a large portion of Canada’s internal transportation of goods: an estimated 90% of all consumer products and foodstuffs (the latter of which accounts for 2% of the national Gross Domestic Product) is shipped by truck. As a result of these desperate times, the OTA is calling on the provincial government to launch a pilot program that would allow freight carriers to bring in immigrant workers to fill the shortage. “We are currently exploring how our programs can maximize our annual Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) nomination allocation to help alleviate these shortages and provide support through economic immigration,” said Kwok Wong, a spokesperson for Ontario’s Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade. The OINP program was inspired by a 2017 initiative that focused on attracting workers to specific jobs in construction and agriculture sectors. “A pilot program would allow us to have a heck of a lot more access to overseas labor and make sure that that labor ends up with the carriers that are investing in their companies,” Laskowski said. Every container trucking company — from the smallest startup to the biggest business — would benefit from the implementation of such a program.