Of all the national holidays the one that eternally seems to get the shaft is Labor Day. Apart from its namesake, there is little history wrapped up in the day to celebrate the workmen and women of this country. Every other holiday merits some nation wide moment of silence, celebration, and tribute, that remind us what we are being given the day for. But in my lifetime Labor Day has never had that, at least growing up in “the-first-to-introduce-a-bill-New York (see link above). Whether I go to every Memorial Day parade, or watch every dedication on Veterans Day, or even if I skipped the fireworks altogether on the Forth of July, after many decades on this planet I think it would be hard to say that I had never known why I was not at work. Yet once again I find it strange that I constantly forget why I am not at work every first Monday in September. It’s pretty simple, as most of the holidays are at their core, but it still seems odd that I feel as if I have never heard the words Labor Movement on this weekend. I am sure many years ago the day was cause for parades and festivities, but that seems to have long passed and now we mourn the seasons’ end by leaving work early on Friday to start the grieving process.
So in honor of this Labor Day, and all of those who have been a part of the workforce of this country, I say thank you. I started my official contribution into the labor force with the man in the drawing above, my father, on a printing press, and in many ways I am still attached to that press. We are all connected—and probably more so–by what we do with our daily lives more than most other things. For the masses, those days bleed into the next and are largely consumed with work and how we get to, through and home on those days. So to every barista working today, every sand hog telling stories to friends and family, every iron worker and toll collector, and every graphic designer and pressman keeping the torch going, Happy Labor Day!—Dominick
ps-Viva La Labor Day Records!