Bethlehem Steel helped make our country great

Many years ago, there was a large sign on the fence at Bethlehem Steel. It held just two words: “Help Wanted.”

Bethlehem hired people of all races and nationalities, people with little education and people who spoke little English. Some stayed until retirement, others left to further their education and became our firefighters, police officers, businessmen, doctors, lawyers and politicians. The list is endless.

Almost everyone in Western New York had a relative, a neighbor or a friend who worked there and appreciated being one of the 22,000 employees receiving a weekly paycheck.

Bethlehem helped make our country great. Its steel is in buildings all over the world. Its railroad rails expanded our nation. Its steel helped win our wars.

The Lackawanna Historical Society lost its gallant fight to save the Administration Building on Fuhrmann Boulevard. Perhaps some day a fitting memorial will take its place. Bethlehem Steel deserves more than a rusty fence.

I am grateful to the company for providing for my family and for my father before me.

Patrick J. Mellody Sr.