FOCUS: Labor Day, September 7


The first Labor Day was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882 in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union.  The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day just a year later, on September 5, 1883.  In 1884, the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday and many cities around the country began to celebrate the “workingmen’s holiday.”

One thing that is not mentioned very often is that at the American Federation of Labor Convention in 1909, the Sunday preceding Labor Day was adopted as labor Sunday and dedicated to the spiritual and educational aspects of the labor movement.  The 100th birthday of the Department of Labor’s first 100 years of service was celebrated in 2013.

The name of the founder of Labor Day has been questioned.  It seems that some records show that Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a co-founder of the American Federation of Labor, was first to suggest a day to honor those who have labored to make things better.  However, many believe that Matthew Maguire, a machinist, not Peter McGuire, founded the holiday.  Recent research seems to support that Matthew Maguire, later the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson N.J. proposed the holiday in 1882 while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York.

The word labor means many things to many people.  Labor is a noun and is a word for physical or manual work done for hire in economic production.  Labor means to toil mentally or physically.  Labor can be a time of making difficult decisions and labor can mean the stress of childbirth.

Labor Day is the ending of summer and the beginning of fall.  For many years, families have celebrated the Labor Day weekend with picnics, swimming, games and fun.  With the Coronavirus still active, plans may be a little different with social distancing and masks. Many of the special Labor Day activities in communities may have been cancelled this year. 

Labor Day celebrations may be difficult for many men and women who have lost jobs, lost businesses and feel less like celebrating.  This year is also different with all the violence seen in many cities across America.  It is difficult to watch the torching, looting, shootings and mayhem where families are afraid to go out and mingle with their friends.  I never thought I would see such destruction in the cities and towns that have been on tours where I have traveled.  With all the violence and destruction including the virus, many of the tour companies are not traveling. 

I wrote an article about Labor Day in 2014 and talked about the difficult decisions the President and Congress had to make with the loss of jobs here and abroad.  Until the Coronavirus became a Pandemic around the world, the job market had become the best ever in the last several years.  We need to pray for the end of the virus, the end to the violence, the end of the killing.  We have lost too many of our nation’s men, women and children.  Many of these people held jobs and were mothers and fathers.  And the thought of many of our children losing their lives because of hate is not what America stands for.  The history of America and special celebrations are being removed, which will change the way America will be celebrated in the years to come.  We as Americans need to start communicating again.  There are issues to discuss and we must find solutions that work.  With the way things are going, no other country needs to destroy America.  Americans are destroying our country from within. 

As we celebrate Labor Day, which refers to those who work for a living, we are reminded of all those who do not have work to support themselves and their families.  Some of the folks out of work have been laid off because of the virus.  With the violence, many of the jobs lost are from businesses being looted, burned down and closed because their stores were destroyed, not once, but many businesses reopened and have been torn down, looted or burned down again.  How can businesses, organizations, companies, volunteer organizations and we the people address this attack on the land that we love?  There is work to do.  There are those who have ideas, dreams, projects and thoughts for a brighter tomorrow.  How do we get these folks together to make a difference?  The time for sitting back and letting others make radical changes will take America in a direction that will destroy the country our forefathers fought for.  Americans need to work together on all levels to make a difference in the lives of all.  The word labor is a word for our nation.  We have a difficult job ahead of us.  The labor of love for one another is a good beginning.  Now is the time for all of us to get to work whether it is a paying job or a volunteer job.  We can work together and make a difference in our communities, our nation and in our world.  We have a difficult job ahead of us.  We as Americans need to find solutions to some difficult problems ahead.  We need to ask God for guidance. We need to look for solutions through the labor of love.  We cannot let America be destroyed by hate.  The big question facing Americans is what do you want in your America?  Do you want freedom to make your own choices?  Do you want to be One Nation Under God?  Do you want to be free to labor at the job you wish to study, train and work in?  Do you want to be free to choose your own home, have the children you wish and school them as you wish?  Do you want to be able to keep your families safe?  Do you believe in our Constitutional rights?  Do you want to live in a nation that is one nation under God with liberty and justice for all?  It is time to wake up America.  It is time to get to work.  To labor is to progress with great effort and painful exertion and labor an argument which will bring an answer to your labor.  Is the America we love worth the effort?

I leave you with these thoughts.  Ronald Reagan – We must reject the idea that every time a law is broken, society is guilty rather than the law breaker.  It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his or her actions. 

Your mind is the garden. Your thoughts are the seeds.  You can grow flowers or, you can grow weeds.

God has a plan.  Pray for direction to follow it, patience to wait on it, and knowledge to know when it comes. – Author unknown   

September:  Lord fill our hearts with the splendor of the season.  Our souls are tired, it’s been a hard year.  Autumn reminds us that change can be beautiful. Thank you for the blessings ahead. – Author unknown

 

 

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