The Forgotten Meaning of Labor Day

The Forgotten Meaning of Labor Day September 2, 2018

The Meaning of Labor Day

Guest Post Written By Tylor Standley 


Let us remember the reason for the season—the reason why you have a 40-hour workweek, the reason why you have holidays, the reason your children do not work in mines, the reason your workplace is safe. Every day you enjoy the benefits of freedom gained not by the guns of soldiers or the benevolence of capitalists and politicians, but gained by the voices of the workers.


We Christians have etched it into national memory that “Jesus is the reason for the Christmas season.” Barring our neglect to live in light of that claim, I think the memory serves us well. With similar gusto, we remember the reason for Memorial and Veterans’ Days—even within our sanctuaries, we call on those who served or who have lost loved ones in military service to stand so we can thank them for their sacrifice.

In practice, these “holidays” mostly give us excuses to enjoy a break—time to relax and forget the cares of work. Meanwhile, the one national holiday explicitly meant to give us that break, the one that impacts our daily life in more tangible ways than most, is the one we’ve chosen to forget. I speak, of course, about Labor Day.

The road to Labor Day, like all of labor history, is paved with blood…

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