Monday, September 7, 2015

Labor Day

     Since today is Labor Day I decided to look a few things up about the day.

     Everybody knows that Labor Day is to celebrate and recognize people who work. Labor Day has a long history and I think is recognized in about 80 countries.  

    I thought back to what Labor Day means to me personally. Labor Day is observed on the first Monday in September. So since most of my life has been in education it's synonymous with school opening. The first Monday makes it awkward to set a school year. You don't want to open schools before Labor Day but sometimes if you don't you don't get your legislated days in before June 30. Opening school before Labor Day means that some kids are still away on holiday so you make class lists and pass out books and lay down the rules and some kids aren't there. 

   I admit that I didn't do anything special as far as Labor day is concerned in my classes. No excuse. I just didn't think about it.

    A  a little kid Labor Day brought some mixed emotions. I didn't want to go back to school and end my summer of freedom yet I wanted to go back and meet my friends. I also felt that it was the end of summer and summer fun. Since  I was a farm kid, long weekends didn't mean anything. We didn't go away for a holiday and didn't stop working.

     My dad, being a farmer and harvesting at the time was not happy to hear about Labor Day. It was not a holiday for him. He was not enthused about some people taking the day off with pay and he still had to work very hard.

    Since I've retired I've had time to reflect on Labor Day. I realize that there is an important message in this special day. There are some parades and celebrations. There are some official ceremonies. All of this is to publicize the importance of people who labor. I now look on Labor Day as more than just a day off.

   One thing that still puzzles me about Labor Day. Why don't we say Happy Labor Day like we do for thanksgiving and other holidays?

    I hope everybody had a good weekend and that you're now ready for school or the coming fall season.