A rest from labor

On Monday, Sept. 7, America will mark Labor Day, a federally-recognized holiday.

Labor Day was established in the late 19th century to honor and recognize the American labor movement as well as the contributions of laborers in the United States. 

While labor in America looks much different than it did when Labor Day was first suggested, today’s workers have as much to celebrate as their ancestors. Many fewer Amercians work in factories and mines, or on farms today, yet today almost 160 million of us work, often in jobs a workingman (or woman) of 1894 could never have imagined.

The goal has not changed much over a century: people work to make an income to live and raise a family, with the goal of eventually retiring. This country was built by its workforce. This country continues to be an economic beacon for the rest of the work due to our work ethic and productivity. It is the men and women who work that we honor and celebrate on Labor Day. 

There are, of course, people who work on Labor Day. It is these we should especially honor—the firefighters, paramedics, EMTs, hospital doctors and nurses and public safety officers. They serve so the rest of us can take the day off and enjoy a holiday.

Members of the military are on the job as well. The defense of our country doesn’t take a holiday. American workers can shop, picnic, camp and recreate because the men and women in uniform are on duty to preserve our way of life.