Caden Wondered What Labor Day Was “All About”

983641_890851624323_920012580_nEarlier this week, my eight year old son, Caden, asked what “Labor Day was all about”. Digging deep, from somewhere, I remembered it had, logically, something to do with workers, and probably had something to do with labor unions. Unsatisfied with my superficial answer, he pressed further. Ultimately, “I don’t know Caden” was my only response to several of his inquisitive questions. I resorted to for answers.

I wasn’t as uneducated as I suspected. I was right. Two points for “fake it ’till you make it” fathers everywhere. I learned Labor Day originally was a celebration of the “economic and social contributions of workers.” We as a nation have celebrated Labor Day since the end of the Pullman Strike in 1894 when President Grover Cleveland officially made it a federal law. The celebration was originally marked by a street parade to show “the strength and spirit de corps of the trade and labor organizations.”  After the parade, a festival was thrown for workers and their families. Speeches by prominent men and women were introduced later, as more emphasis was placed upon the civil significance of the holiday. Still later, by a resolution of the American Federation of Labor convention of 1909, the Sunday preceding Labor Day was adopted as Labor Sunday and dedicated to the spiritual and educational aspects of the Selector movement.

Despite it’s historic beginnings, the Labor Day of today is nothing compared to the Labor Day of our grandparents.  To most Americans, the Labor Day of today marks only the end of the summer season, the beginning of the football season, and a darn good day to shop for a good sale.  Like its annual cousin, Memorial Day, the occasion is most often celebrated in campgrounds, beaches, backyards or swimming pools.  With those festivities, many of us choose to consume alcoholic beverages, some of us in excess.  As mentioned in my pre-Memorial Day post, I don’t care if you drink, I don’t care if you drink until you pass out and pee your pants.  That’s your business.  But please, please do so responsibly and safely.  Nominate a designated driver.  Don’t drink and drive.  Don’t risk injury or death to you, or to your friends, or to innocent victims of your stupidity.  If you find yourself in an intoxicated state, with no safe way to get home, know that there are options.  Take a bus, call a friend or family member, or call a professional service.l Pubfly, a local designated driving company offers a safe, convenient, and responsible way to get you and your car home safely.  Check them out.  Call them at 360-313-7645.  Or, if you find yourself in another state (it must have been a good night) check out this national database of designated driving companies.

Be safe. Be responsible. Be alive.

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