Labor Day is an American holiday that is always observed on the first Monday in Septembr to celebrate the economic and social contributions of workers.
I suspect most of us have early memories of how our families celebrated Labor Day. Ready to leave the summer fun behind and return to school. County Fairs. Picnics. Or no celebration at all.
My first memories of a Labor Day celebration is a vivid one of a picnic for all the employees of St Regis Paper Mill in Cantonment Florida where my dad worked as a pipefitter after returning from World War II. As a kid, I loved it. But alas, they only did it for two years and then left the workers to celebrate in their own way.
The quote on this vintage postage stamp (and I do remember when First Class postage was 3 cents) is “Labor is Life.” That has been true since the beginning of time. Without labor, the early humans died. As time marched on, however, and social status groups were established, the labor of the lower classes supported the relaxation of the upper ones.
Even in the early history of our own country, the labor force was used and abused as the latest immigrant population slaved in the factories. Labor Day originated from the labor union movement which advocated eight hours for work, eight hours for recreation, and eight hours for rest.
For me, Labor Day is a day to give thanks for living in a time in history and in a country like the US where I have the opportunity to build a business and create my own lifestyle.
Sure, I work hard and spend evenings working on my businesses, but it is my choice. And it is an investment in me and my dream and not that of some wealthy financier who will pocket the proceeds from my labor.
Labor Day — A day to celebrate Freedom to work for myself.