Here in the South, Labor Day is whatever you make of it. I’m not aware of any parades, although there may be some. Cookouts, college football and the beach are popular in North Florida where I live.
Most of us view Labor Day as that bonus holiday—no gifts to purchase, no rituals to observe, no special church services.
I realized the differences in Labor Day here and elsewhere when I read a lengthy backgrounder at the US Dept. of Labor. The backgrounder details Labor Day as a product of the Labor Union movement.
I commented in an earlier column about the DOL history of Labor Day. One thing’s for sure.
The Obama administration has unleashed the most activist Dept. of Labor we’ve seen as evidenced by obstructing companies like Boeing and armed raids on companies like Gibson Guitar. Both those issues are related to events in right to work states.
The day has, however, morphed into something far more inclusive—all of us who work and labor get a day off in honor of our productivity.
I suspect humans have always found a means of marking a day ahead of harvest time. In agrarian societies, the first day in September would mark the end of the growing season and the beginning of the season to lay aside stores for cold weather.
The Dept. of Labor backgrounder is an excellent example of the differences in communities across our great land. I suspect there will be an effort to praise unions in media, at least an effort to praise by progressive politicians in forced unionism states.
Here in the South, we just see Labor Day as that bonus day off giving us a 3-day weekend ahead of fall and the busy Christmas holiday season that follows.
(Commentary by Kay B. Day/Sept. 3, 2011)