Reflections from Labor Day

Fremont Bridge workers, 1951, Seattle Municipal Archives, Flickr

Fremont Bridge workers, 1951, Seattle Municipal Archives, Flickr

Today is Labor Day in the United States. Originally celebrated as “the workingman’s holiday,” Labor Day is a celebration on the first Monday in September which finds its roots in the late 1800s. Oregon, the state where I grew up, was the first state to legally recognize Labor Day after passing the holiday into law on February 21, 1887. It was recognized as a national holiday seven years later in 1894.

With severe working conditions in the late 1800s in America, many labors faced 12-hour days that were seven-day work weeks. Among other factors, Labor Day was one of the forces at work as labors gathered to press for safer working conditions, fair pay, and to recognize the important contribution of every-day work.

While the day has come to also be associated with the end of summer and as a time for families, friends, and communities to gather together before summer’s end, it also serves as a helpful reminder that our society and economy flourishes as men and women do their every-day jobs with excellence.

In a previous post I reflect on the Web of Work that we all benefit from on a daily basis. Whether reading through that post, or considering the value of the work you and others do in another manner, I hope you are able to BOTH enjoy a holiday and reflect on the significance of work this day.

Related reading… The Web of Work: Serving and Being Served through Work

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