Celebrating Labor Day is an American tradition

Published 4:00 pm Monday, September 5, 2022

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By Jennie Guido

It’s the three-day weekend we all need. It’s the kick off of football season across the country. In the south, it’s usually spent in a field hunting doves. It’s Labor Day weekend.

Since 1894, Labor Day has been a nationally-recognized holiday to celebrate the hard work of all Americans from all backgrounds. I found on the Department of Labor’s website that it was created as a “general holiday for the laboring classes to honor those who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold.”

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“The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union,” the site continued. “The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, 1883. By 1894, twenty-three more states had adopted the holiday, and on June 28, 1894, President Grover Cleveland signed a law making the first Monday in September of each year a national holiday.

“Many Americans celebrate Labor Day with parades, picnics and parties – festivities very similar to those outlined by the first proposal for a holiday, which suggested that the day should be observed with – a street parade to exhibit ‘the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations’ of the community, followed by a festival for the recreation and amusement of the workers and their families. This became the pattern for the celebrations of Labor Day.”

Today, we live and work in a world where those working are working above and beyond what they could have ever imagined they could handle. The working world has changed (and not necessarily for the better).

The idea of the front-line worker has evolved from fire-fighters, police, and the like to restaurant servers and hotel front-desk workers. The days of going into an office from 9 to 5 has transformed into a home office where the internet is always running and the notifications are always pinging.

In the past two years alone, I have been a full-time employee working around the clock to being laid off during the pandemic and drawing unemployment to working from home day after day.

For those who have not had one day off from the crazy world of employment since the beginning of the pandemic, I know you’re tired. I know you’re overwhelmed. I know you’re burned out. Thank you. Thank you for keeping us all going. Thank you for taking a rather large one for the team.

Now try and enjoy this first Monday in September with a cold beverage and a good nap.