Labor Day, any day, count your blessings

Published 1:39 am Saturday, August 30, 2014

As many of us enjoy this annual end-of-summer respite we call Labor Day, our thoughts are mostly on one last summer hurrah, or the beginning of SEC football.

But Labor Day is more than a day off work; it is a time to acknowledge those of us in the workforce every day, working to provide for our families, working for the pride that comes from doing a good job, working to be valuable employees to our employers.

The first Labor Day was celebrated Tuesday, Sept. 5, 1882, in New York City, with a parade of 10,000 workers marching. The newspapers of the day declared it a huge success and “a day of the people,” according to the Labor Department website. It came after years of a movement by workers who were tired of long hours, dangerous working conditions and child labor. By 1894, more than 25 states had adopted the holiday in honor of workers, and Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories.

Having a national holiday to celebrate hard work is distinctly American. We should be glad that our national unemployment rate is lower than it was at the beginning of the year, lower than it was last year, lower than it’s been since 2008. We should hope that our state jobless rate soon follows. We should acknowledge the societal shift over the past 100 years that now prohibits child labor.

And we should celebrate the freedom we have to work in occupations of our choosing, as well as those who also toil on that first Monday in September to keep us safe and provide the creature comforts to which we are accustomed.


Labor Day, any day, count
your blessings