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The seal of the United States Department of Labor

Since this is Labor Day, I thought I would write about our Military Personnel. But then I thought, ‘Wait, that is Memorial Day.’ Then I wondered, ‘What exactly is Labor Day?’  So how many of you know why Labor Day is a National Holiday? I know most of us think of BBQ’s and the end of summer. Kids are back in school and it is time to buckle down again.  Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas are just around the corner again.


So the real question is, ‘Why do we celebrate Labor Day? Labor Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the first Monday in September, that celebrates the economic and social contributions of workers. It was first nationally recognized in 1894 to placate unionists following the Pullman Strike. This national holiday was originally in recognition of the union laborers.  With the decline of the unions, Labor Day is symbolic of BBQ’s and the end of summer.


For many, this is a 3-day weekend and a time for one last get away before the weather turns cooler and (gasp) the snow starts to fly. When I was a kid, my parents belonged to a camping club. Labor Day weekend was the last ‘official’ camping weekend for the club.  That is not to say we didn’t go camping after this weekend, it was just not as planned as the whole summer had been.  There were special activities at whatever campground we were staying that weekend.  Even our club members had a community BBQ and pot luck. They were always so much more fun but somehow even though there was an extra day of fun, it went by faster than the 2-day weekends.


Trying to fulfill the expectation of a fun-filled weekend with my children, I was ready for Tuesday morning when the kids went back to school and I went back to work.  I needed the rest. Labor Day was made a federal holiday to recognize the contributions of workers giving them a day of fun and relaxation.  In that sense, Labor Day still recognizes the contributions of the workers with a day of fun and relaxation.


Do you have annual Labor Day traditions?  What are they? What was the best Labor Day you ever had?  Please leave me a comment.