Labor Day….”Honor to Whom Honor is Due.”

Were it not for this gardener’s loving care, this garden would not be as beautiful nor well maintained as it is.

 

 

While most of the world celebrates Labor Day on May 1st, in the United States, we celebrate it on the 1st Monday in September.  This unique difference in date can be attributed to different factors but it really seems insignificant when you stop to think of what it stands for.  You see, this holiday is important to workers all throughout the world as it pays tribute to their achievements and contributions to their labor movements and the societies they live in.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s website has interesting information on this holiday should you care to read up more on the subject.  Feel free to visit http://www.dol.gov/laborday/history.htm for a fascinating view on the origins of Labor Day here in the States.

This leads me to today’s question:

Labor Day:  Honoring of our workers’ contributions or the end of summer?

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10 responses to “Labor Day….”Honor to Whom Honor is Due.”

  1. I would definitely agree that the gardener’s care has made the scenery beautiful and the more I gave my “thumbs up” upon seeing the caption that it was taken in the Philippines. It’s not that I’m being biased or anything, but noting the contrast of the colors was really something for me. As you may have known, and /or to those who may not have known, Philippines is a tropical country so maintaining colorful plants and flowers and keeping the Bermuda grass green will never be an easy task especially during the “sunny” season.

    As for the Labor Day celebration, I’d say the discoverer(s) were able to fulfill their goal at some point since it continues to bring happiness to a lot of people. This, whether it’s being held in time with the end of summer or the 1st of May (middle of summer in my case).In the Philippines for example, regular employees have benefitted on this extra 1 day vacation since it is with pay (and double if we get to work on that day). Also, declaring the date as a holiday is a plus since it gives us an extra time to bond with whatever preference we have i.e., family, friends, malls, self, food, etc. Battling commercialism and materialism though would then be the parents’/guardians’ responsibility along with the challenge on how they would present history and the occasion to the younger generations (though for these, I’m sure, not everyone would agree…peace 🙂 )

    But true to Thorpe’s comment, it’s just sad to note that there are still some aspects in the Labor Day Celebration where the “due was not where it’s supposed to be”. From my passing conversations with workers like janitors and gardeners, I get comments like “they’re not happy when Labor Day comes” because it would mean a “no-work day”. Most of them are minimum wage earners who are paid on a per-day basis and since their employers would prefer to have them on holiday rather than pay twice the day’s salary, it would then boil down to “a day without work, a day without pay”.

    • I’m glad you liked the picture, Faye. Its one of my favorites, as well. This gardener was tending to the gardens of The Ruins in Bacolod and I could not help but take a quick picture while she was concentrated at work. Gardeners are those workers whose love of their job is the most evident, in my opinion. 🙂

      To be honest, I hadn’t thought of posting about Labor Day since I feel most comfortable writing about places I have been to or places I have seen. The inspiration for this post came from a picture a fellow blogger posted for the holiday. (See http://circadee.com/2012/09/03/happy-labor-day/). It’s a picture of an American flag in front of some autumn foliage. It got me to thinking of what the day meant to me and I was curious as to how others might see it. I think its one of those holidays we usually take for granted.

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Rich

  2. Interesting post. I usually equate Labor Day with the end of summer and the turning of leaves. While we didn’t have a barbecue or anything else, I did catch up on my reading which was nice. I also managed to visit the Labor Department’s website on your post. I had never really given this day much thought. I recommend the ‘DOL’s Historian on the History of Labor Day’ as well as ‘The Real Maguire’.

    Also liked your previous posts. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing….

    • Hi Leah… thanks for replying. I hadn’t read those two topics on the website so your reply was definitely beneficial. Any good books you can recommend?

  3. As a past union man, my husband likes to relax on this day. We don’t generally barbecue or visit. It’s a quiet day, and he definitely takes a rest from labor. I like your picture with this post, Richert.

    • Thanks Maddie. Our country owes a lot to the unions and labor movement. Regarding the picture, its one of my favorites. I took it while in The Philippines and its of a gardener tending to the gardens of a museum.

  4. I believe that Labor Day is victim to pretty much the same ills that has befallen other ‘holidays’. That is to say, that the origin has long been forgotten and it has become synonymous with other meanings. Take Mother’s Day for instance, its become a day of spending more than of honoring. Of course the same could be said for Father’s Day and St. Valentine’s. Wouldn’t it be nice if every day was a day of close communion with your parents and other loved ones?

    Unfortunately, Labor Day for me is more of a barbecue day than a day to remember the accomplishments of workers per say.

    • Hi Thorpe and thanks for your comments. Nothing wrong with a nice barbecue. What better day to honor the workers that came before us than to take the day off from work and spend it doing what you best like. 🙂