Happy Labor Day: holiday recognizes working Americans

Published 4:42pm Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Another long holiday weekend is upon us, as most of the working folks among us enjoy a Monday off from work.

Like Memorial Day in late May, Labor Day serves as one of the unofficial bookends of summer. Although the season doesn’t really change until the autumnal equinox, which falls on Sept. 22 this year, Labor Day is often viewed as the end of summer, due in no small part to the fact that the Monday holiday provides families with an opportunity to make one more warm-weather vacation trip.

Those who aren’t traveling during this long weekend may use the extra day off from work to fire up the grill and spend a little time in the backyard relaxing with family and friends. It’s unlikely many will take time to think about the reason for the Monday off from work though.

Declared a national holiday by an act of Congress in 1894, the first Monday in September was set aside as a day to pay tribute to American working people and the contributions they have made to our nation’s success. Initially, the holiday was created to placate unions and the labor movement in the United States; however, over time, that part of the holiday’s history has faded.

Labor Day continues to be a time to recognize our hard work and give us an extra day to rest from the labor of making a living. Meanwhile, some will be working as usual Monday. Among them are law enforcement officers, firefighters, first responders and other medical workers, garbage collection crews and many retail workers, to name just some of those who won’t have the day off.

Monday is the only holiday set aside to recognize America’s working men and women. We’d like to thank them for their labors and offer special appreciation to those who will be spending the holiday on the job.