Most Americans are enjoying a day off from work today, the final holiday of summer and one, ironically, named Labor Day.
Labor Day is a transition holiday. Summer is in its final days. School is in session, and fall is on the horizon. Most families are now turning their attention to the things that go along with that event, such as football season.
Labor Day is observed the first Monday in September, and has its genesis in the labor movement of the late 19th century. Oregon in 1887 became the first state to observe Labor Day as a legal holiday. Seven years later, in 1894, President Grover Cleveland signed a bill making the day a national holiday.
"Labor Day differs in every essential from the other holidays of the year," wrote founder and president of the American Federation of Labor Samuel Gompers. "All other holidays are in a more or less degree connected with conflicts and battles of man's prowess over man, ... . Labor day ... is devoted to no man, living or dead, to no sect, race or nation."
Today, we can stop for a day that would normally find us on the job and appreciate the fruits of our labor: our families, friends and the things we can afford because of those labors. We hope everyone has a wonderful holiday and can enjoy this time off.
We hope citizens will pause for a moment this day to think about the law enforcement officers who put their lives on the line every day - including holidays - to protect us. The tragic incident this past week in Clay County in which one officer was killed and several others shot - proves there is no such thing as a routine day for these men and women.
Heaven is blessed with perfect rest, but the blessing of earth is toil.
Henry van Dyke
A mind always employed is always happy. This is the true secret, the grand recipe, for felicity.
Sometimes it's important to work for that pot of gold. But other times it's essential to take time off and to make sure that your most important decision in the day simply consists of choosing which color to slide down on the rainbow.