Opinion Editorial: A Deeper Understanding of Labor Day Needed

Opinion Editorial: A Deeper Understanding of Labor Day Needed

Charlie Hebert
eSomethin Staff

A student in front of lockers
Charlie Hebert

To most people (especially today’s high-schoolers), Labor Day is nothing but another day off from school — and probably has been since its start on September 1st, 1884.  Although some know it is also meant to commemorate the workers of American history, it is still highly misunderstood.

When many hear the word labor we think of someone with a legitimate career, and how their work can leave a positive impact on society. This understanding pertains to bona fide jobs, like business-owner, teacher, firefighter, police, etc. And while it is still true that these people have contributed a lot to the well-being of society, it seems that there is a lesser-known, forgotten group of laborers.

Construction workers of history were paid to build houses, but slaves — forced laborers — were stolen from their countries and forced to work with no pay.  Do Americans think of them when Labor Day comes to mind?

What about the immigrant, who left his/her whole family, to risk all he/she’s ever known in physically intense, hard work, in any variety of tasks, to benefit others in hopes that he/she might make enough money to feed him/herself?

Even though not all work is celebrated on Labor Day, the impact it has can be tremendous, no matter the opinions of others.

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