September 6, 2010

Why Don’t We Work on Labor Day?


Image by Robert Couse-Baker

It’s always been one of those quizzical things to me: Why don’t we work on Labor Day? Labor means to work, right?

I remember back in high school learning about the Pullman Strike and President Grover Cleveland‘s role in establishing Labor Day as a national holiday after the strike. I didn’t understand it all that well back then and I still don’t get it. If we’re paying tribute to working men and women, do we really need to take the day off of working?

Maybe it’s that whole Federal Holiday thing that necessitates the day off. Or maybe Labor Day never was, since I was a kid, what it was really meant to be. I understand that Labor Day honors the contribution of the working man and woman to the economic fabric of our nation. But I still don’t know why it’s a day off from work. Maybe it’s so we can support the economy from our working?

It seems that Labor Day is more about sales, wing eating contests, parades and BBQs. Again, something I don’t understand. How did a holiday honoring the backbreaking work of men and women to make America the great country it is become so insignificant?

Just my thoughts. What are yours? And what is the greeting? Is it Happy Labor Day?


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