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Labor Day: We honor working men and women
Saturday, August 30, 2014 5:00 AM
Every time an election rolls around we hear lots of heated rhetoric about the need to create more jobs; to put people back to work so that our economy can move forward. Sure, we need more job opportunities, but it's important that we not overlook honoring the average Joe and Mary for doing what it is that keeps this world turning ... work.
On Monday, Labor Day, we do just that.
Those who police our streets, fight our fires, grow our food, stock our shelves, staff our day-care centers, haul away our trash, build our cars and construct our homes - they are what makes our country great.
Peter J. McGuire, president of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, first envisioned a day honoring labor in 1882. He said that since certain days were designated to represent "the religious, civil and military spirit," the working man and woman also should be honored. He called those men and women "the great vital force of the nation."
McGuire proposed that year that a "Labor Day" be celebrated on the first Monday in September. He chose that day because the weather was likely to be pleasant and it was halfway between Memorial Day and Thanksgiving.
McGuire's idea caught on. The celebration of Labor Day gradually spread, and by 1928 all 48 states except Wyoming had made it a holiday. Today, it is a holiday celebrated in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Many of us will get a day away from our jobs on Monday, but we offer a special thanks to those who must labor on that day. While it may seem like a bad break to some of them, it demonstrates the spirit that makes American workers the best in the world.
We leave you with a quote from John D. Rockefeller...
I believe in the dignity of labor, whether with head or hand; that the world owes no man a living but that it owes every man an opportunity to make a living.
Have a great Labor Day.
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