It may seem counterintuitive that a holiday named for working is specifically designated as a day that Americans do not work but to assume so is to miss the point. Labor Day is not to celebrate work but instead to celebrate those who work. First instituted as an official public holiday in 1887 by the state of Oregon, Labor Day became an official federal holiday a few years later in 1894. Many of the worker protections that we commonly take for granted today would not be in place if it were not for the efforts of the labor champions who fought for these rights so many decades ago. And to ensure that future decades enjoy even better working conditions than we do now, it is our responsibility to uphold the principles of equality, safety, dignity, and diligence that those before us worked so hard to codify. This Labor Day, though most people won’t be in the office or on the job, remember that we work not for work’s sake but to better our lives and the lives of those who will work in the future. Have a safe and happy holiday!
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