Isaiah 6:8

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day Salute

Today is Labor Day.  To me as a child it was the official end of the summer.  As a teacher it is the last holiday from school now before Veteran's Day in November.  I have always loved this holiday...I grew up in a union household.  My dad was a member of the IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) so when I was a child it meant the annual Labor Day Sasser cookout.  My dad would get up early in the morning and cook ribs, pork chops, hamburgers, and hotdogs while my mom would be inside preparing potato salad, slaw, baked beans, and banana pudding.  My mom made the best banana pudding in the whole world.  She would top it with merengue and the merengue would be so perfectly browned there would even be a small tear drop on it.  I could not wait to dig into it.  Family and friends would begin gathering around 1 and we would eat at 4.  By 7 everyone was gone and the house was clean again.  Tomorrow would be the first day of school...when I was younger.  As I grew older it still meant a massive bbq and school would be the next day....but it was not the first day anymore.  My school system starts in late July, no later than mid August.  This weekend was not much different.  Amanda's kids were here and we had the big chicken bbq on Saturday.  It was fun visiting with everyone.  Ramona and her family came from Panama City(missing out on Lee), David and Suzanna came from Louisville, KY and we don't see them as playing with all the babies was fun.  But this morning I wondered just how many people know exactly what Labor Day is and why we celebrate it.  We all know that Labor Day is the first Monday in September but did you know that it was a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers?  The day is actually supposed to be a tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country. The sad part is look where we are now.  Unemployment is high, plants are closed and sitting idle, America is in debt.  I don't think this was the American Dream.....and who fouled it up?  No one know who really proposed the holiday.  Some say that Peter J. McGuire, the general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a cofounder of the American Federation of Labor was the first one to suggest it.  Others say it was Matthew Maguire a machinist who founded it.  What is certain is that someone proposed it and it came to be on Tuesday, September 5th, 1882 in New York City. A year later on September 5th, 1883 the second annual holiday was celebrated.  In 1884 the holiday was moved to the first Monday and dubbed the workingman's holiday.  Government recognition began as municipal ordinances passed from 1885 to 1886.  It was not until 1894 that Congress passed a law making the first Monday of September a legal holiday.  You know the vital force of labor has added materially to the high standard of living we experience.  The group Alabama puts their salute in a song called 40 Hour Week and if you take time to listen to the song you will see just how important the blue collar and hardworking Americans are to who we are as a nation.  So, on this 2011 Labor Day I want to salute all the people in America who work for a living:  to the firefighters, steel mill workers,  auto workers, pipe fitters, plumbers, carpenters, electricians, masons, painters, mail carriers, teachers, preachers, waitresses, cooks, policemen, SAHM's, EMT's, nurses, janitors, and the list goes on forever....Thank you for all you and everyday!  I learned something from my father pays to know who makes your life know your janitors name....mine is Gene and believe me....if it weren't for him I would be lost.  He gives me a pleasant environment to work in.  I also know the school secretary....she keeps our school running smoothly.  It is not just one person who makes a business run like a fine oiled is a series of people.  Thank again to you all!  Happy Labor Day!  


Sweet Tea said...

My Dad and my FIL were both hard-working, blue collar men. They worked long hours in all types of weather. They did all this to provide for their family. I am thankful for their legacy of hard- work and doing what needed to be done for the sake of the family.

Nice post, Karen.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

Those sound like some nice memories. I don't remember how we celebrated when I was younger.