Labor Day seems to have a different meaning this year. It doesn’t seem the same as other years. I want to fly my flag and treat it as a national holiday for healing rather than celebrate work and the traditional end of summer. Anyone else feeling this way?
We have a hurricane, tornado, and storm damage over a third or more of the country. Then there’s the wildfire damage. Many Americans living in the east, south, and west have no home left, let alone electricity.
We have fellow citizens left behind and allied friends as well. Still not sure why.
There still is sickness, pain, and death to deal with in our nation.
There are Americans who aren’t working by choice because the government pays better wages to be unemployed than to do an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay.
In short, it’s tough to celebrate right now. Really tough.
Let’s revisit a quote from a previous post that may shed light on the issue.
“I cannot think of anything characteristically American that was not produced by toil (work). I cannot think of any American man or woman preeminent in the history of our Nation who did not reach their place through toil. I cannot think of anything that represents the American people as a whole so adequately as honest work. We perform different tasks, but the spirit is the same. We are proud of work and ashamed of idleness. With us there is no task which is menial, no service which is degrading. All work is ennobling and all workers are ennobled.”
-Calvin Coolidge, then Governor of Massachusetts, September 1, 1919
“We are proud of work and ashamed of idleness.” This is who Americans are, or at least who we used to be. I know from your previous comments that you identify with hardworking Americans. You value work-yours and others. You appreciate those who create great things, serve you well, and strive for excellence. You understand what it takes to get up and go to one, two, or three jobs in a given week. You do your best as you work side by side with people who maybe don’t share the same views. You get up and try again, even when you have had a setback or aren’t acknowledged for a job well done. You keep the goal in mind- to provide security for those you love.
Your efforts are worth celebrating, even in tough times like these. Last year I asked you to consider what was going on in 1919 when Coolidge made his statement:
The Treaty of Versailles to end World War I but set the stage for World War II.
The Russian Revolution
The Communist Party of America organized in Chicago
The Red Scare
The Spanish Flu pandemic
May this give us perspective as we take time, even now, to honor Americans who hold jobs or who have retired from years of serving their families and communities through their labor.
We will clean up from the natural disasters.
Against all odds, right now, people are trying to bring our fellow citizens, and allied friends home or to safety in a new place.
We will heal from sickness.
We will mourn with those who are mourning great personal loss.
And, we will continue to do honorable work because that is who we are.
May God bless you on this Labor Day, and may God bless America.
This is Common Sense Civics and Citizenship. 🇺🇸