Labor Day is more than a bookend

Published 8:06 am Monday, September 2, 2013

“Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if Labor had not first existed. Labor is superior to capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.” — Abraham Lincoln, 16th president of the United States

Memorial Day and Labor Day are known as the bookends to summer, one to kick off the season of vacations, camping, outdoors recreation and barbecues and one to end. Both are three-day weekends with the observance coming on Mondays.

Most Americans celebrate them in no meaningful way except for enjoying time away from work.

Email newsletter signup

Unlike Memorial Day, where at least some Americans honor the people who have died in service of their country, even fewer Americans celebrate Labor Day by honoring the people who make it happen.

Let us take a few moments today and ponder the value of workers. As Americans, we rave over the successes and failures of CEOs, Wall Street and the economy as a whole.

But when you think about it, the point to it all is so families can put bread on their table and shoes on their feet. We want success so everyday Americans can live comfortably and peaceably. That takes labor.

We all take pride in our work. We should remember to take pride in the work of others, too.

It reminds us of the NFL quarterback Peyton Manning TV commercials where he roots for the Average Joe. For example, he asks a grocery stocker to sign a wrapped loaf of bread.

When you interact with that clerk, waiter, tree-trimmer, machinist, what-have-you, be kind, be courteous and be thankful. They are serving an important role in the local economy and the nation’s economy.