According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.
Regardless of arguments regarding the state of labor unions themselves, workers built our country. They have done and continue to do the physical labor of creating transportation infrastructure, building and repairing machines, and myriad other forms of labor that built and maintain our country. That work is worth honoring and celebrating.
For me as a child, Labor Day was always a bit bittersweet. I was excited for the coming school year. Yet it marked the end of summer vacation. A distinct marker of the passage of time. Events in that warm summer that would never repeat. Adventures with friends, waterskiing and swimming in a number of the 10,000 lakes, lazing around the house, the sweet smell of freshly mowed lawns, the change into autumn, and the end of the Great Minnesota Get-Together a.k.a. The Minnesota State Fair. Labor Day had the weight of marking another chapter of life passing and another one beginning.