What’s Labor Day?

I worked today, it is "Labor Day" after all (ha ha, my feeble attempt at humor). I work at a private college and we held classes and all the offices were open. In spite of that, it was a pretty quiet day and still sort of managed to feel like a holiday. That was good, since the rest of my family did have the day off and were able to "do their own thing".

I got to wondering though, what do I remember and/or know about Labor Day?

  • I remember that when I was a kid school didn't start until after Labor Day (and ended at or before Memorial Day).
  • I seem to remember we always cooked out, but I don't particularly remember having a party as such.
  • I remember the rule that white shoes, purses, belts, and most white clothes had to be put away until Memorial Day (dress gloves and blouses being an exception).
  • Coming from a blue collar working family, I had some idea that Labor Day was a celebration of the hard work of the average "joe". Kind of a "you can't do this without us" sentiment.

Curious, I looked up the meaning and origin of Labor Day. I wasn't far off the mark. According to the US Department of Labor it is (and I quote): "a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country."  https://www.dol.gov/general/laborday/history

It seems that school year stops and starts and length have changed throughout the years. Originally there was no summer vacation, then they were added, now many want to dramatically cut them down. Even now when school starts and ends depends on where you live.

Regardless of all of this, what I know is that I don't get it off, but then neither do all of the people in retail for whom this is simply another specialized sale day.

I doubt that anyone that I know stopped today to pay tribute to the workers of this country (I know I didn't).

Now that I've had the reminder, I'd like to say thank you. Thank you to the workers in this country who make my life what it is. Thank you to those who built my home, assembled my car, made my clothes, packaged my food, imagined my entertainment, published my reading material, loaded and drove the trucks that brought things to my neighborhood for me to use, purchase, consume, and enjoy. Thank you to the people who built the roads, bridges, and highways that I travel. Thank you to everyone who labors. We couldn't do it without you.


1 Response

  1. Sorry you had to work, but hope it was a quiet and uneventful day. We always started school the day after Labor Day and ended about a week after Memorial Day. Can't beat three months solid off for summer.

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