The Case for a Better Celebration of Labor Day

In Uncategorized by Barbara Jacoby

As I look forward to the upcoming Labor Day holiday weekend, I find that I am rather puzzled by how most people view this holiday. For many, it is the end of summer and the return to school after summer vacation. For others, it signals the passage of another vacation break. And for many, it really has no particular significance other than a Monday off from work. But, personally, I don’t understand this. Why don’t we truly celebrate this holiday that celebrates the American worker?

Despite the rather political beginnings of this holiday, I believe that it is way past the time to flip the switch and make this a true celebration of every American who works so hard each and every day. Barbara Jacoby
Advertisment

Perhaps it is because of its less than stellar beginnings. Wikipedia defines its origin as:

Labor Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the first Monday in September. The first big Labor Day in the United States was observed on September 5, 1882, by the Central Labor Union of New York. It became a federal holiday in 1894, when, following the deaths of a number of workers at the hands of the U.S. military and U.S. Marshals during the Pullman Strike, President Grover Cleveland reconciled with the labor movement. Fearing further conflict, legislation making Labor Day a national holiday was rushed through Congress unanimously and signed into law a mere six days after the end of the strike. The September date originally chosen by the CLU of New York and observed by many of the nation’s trade unions for the past several years was selected rather than the more widespread International Workers’ Day because Cleveland was concerned that observance of the latter would stir up negative emotions linked to the Haymarket Affair, which it had been observed to commemorate. All U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and the territories have made it a statutory holiday.

Despite the rather political beginnings of this holiday, I believe that it is way past the time to flip the switch and make this a true celebration of every American who works so hard each and every day. It doesn’t matter whether you leave home to go to a different place to work, or whether you have a business in your own home or whether you are the person who stays home in order to take care of your family and household. Each and every person who labors deserves to be celebrated.

Americans are the hardest workers in the world. If you don’t believe it, check out the statistics. Therefore, I don’t understand why we should bury the true meaning of a holiday that celebrates the American worker. It is time to bring out the bands and march through the streets and sing the praises of all of those who give of themselves to make this the best country in the world. It is time to set off the fireworks to light up the skies in honor of the efforts of every last person who strives to give of themselves in providing the goods and services that are needed and wanted by others. It is time to enjoy the barbeques and the theme parks and the sports competitions that all represent relaxation time away from our hard labor. This is OUR day.

Labor Day may mark the end of summer for many but it truly is meant to celebrate this country’s work force. It may mark the time when schools are back in session but it represents the end of another work year and the beginning of our individual redoubling of efforts to work harder and be better than ever. And now it is the time to give this holiday the stature that it deserves because it celebrates the people of this country who give their lives to and for our family and friends and neighbors and co-workers to create an ever-better life. What better way to celebrate the heart and soul of every one of us who is working to create the best dreams and hopes and future for everyone in this country than to remember Labor Day as our day of recognition!