I just don't get Labor Day. Unlike other days that are rooted in our Christian faith, like Christmas or Easter, or rooted in patriotism like Independence Day or Presidents Day or Veterans Day, or celebrate the start of the new year, Labor Day seems like it really has no link to any theme or important event. To me, working is sort of like eating and sleeping, it is just something you do. We could just as easily celebrate Sleeping Day. Also, it is not clear what is being honored by Labor Day. With work force participation at a 36 year low, what about the 37% of people who are in the work force age group who are not working? Is Labor Day for them? Also, if you work in management, are you still part of what is celebrated on Labor Day? And what about informal labor, such as housewives and mothers, are they in the group honored on Labor Day?
Actually, Labor Day is a celebration of the American labor union movement and is dedicated to achievements of workers, so working or not, working informally or formally, in management or labor, I guess we can all celebrate the union movement. Since most workers are not part of a union, it seems kind of strange that we have a day set aside to celebrate the union movement. One reason we have Labor Day, is so we don't celebrate the international labor day of May 1, which was a big celebration in the Communist world and is still a day to rally the workers of the world.
I don't mind getting a paid holiday on September 1, it is a long time between July 4th and Veterans day of November 11th, so whatever the excuse for the holiday, I will take it. On October 13 is Columbus day and it used to be a big holiday, but most people do not get Columbus Day off anymore and political correctness has downplayed Columbus Day. If it was up to me, I would give up Labor Day and take Columbus day but since that is probably not going to happen, I will keep celebrating Labor Day.
One thing I find missing from Labor Day is ways to celebrate it. Thanksgiving has pilgrims and Indians and turkey, and the 4th of July has fireworks and flags, and Easter has eggs and Easter bunnies and Christmas is the big blowout in decorations and symbols and songs, but there are few Labor Day symbols or Labor Day songs.
Last week I went to see Merle Haggard at the Ryman and he put on a great show. I loved it! Merle Haggard has a great song for Labor Day. He performed it on his show. Here it is: