The Times West Virginian

September 1, 2013

Real meaning of Labor Day in our country often overlooked

Times West Virginian

— Over many years, the celebration of Labor Day has become the unofficial ending of summer and the beginning of autumn. The highly anticipated fall sports season and our regional hunting season are upon us. For many years, the beginning of school fell on the day following this holiday.

Often times, the real meaning of Labor Day is overlooked or at least minimized. Its intended purpose is to celebrate and honor the American workforce. Throughout our illustrious history as a nation, we have been blessed with a dedicated army of productive workers that has arisen to any and all challenges.

The mobilization of our workforce, including both men and women, during the World War II era is second to none in the “can-do” mentality, dedication and commitment of our people. For the first time, women left their homes to replace the men who had been called to arms and, in so doing, became the backbone of our much-needed supply chain for war.

Since those heroic years, men and women alike have united to produce an economy that has kept America at the top of the world list of productivity and lifestyle. The gifted dreamers, designers, engineers, inventors, etc., usually receive the acclaim, and rightfully so, for our leadership in nearly every category of accomplishment.

But in reality, where would their ideas and inventions be without the workforce to bring alive their dreams? The largest luxury liner, the newest aircraft carrier, the fastest stealth fighter, the tallest buildings, and the list is endless, are dependent on the accountability and professional dedication of each individual member of the workforce who daily performs duties with commitment and pride in their workmanship.

It is proper and necessary that a blessed nation such as America should annually take time and effort to honor the workforce who has brought our nation to this point of our illustrious history. It would be an endless argument to endeavor to choose which on the spectrum of national productivity would be the most necessary: the ones with the ideas or the ones who bring those ideas to life. Both seem to be equally valuable and non-existent without the other.

As Labor Day 2013 arrives tomorrow, we shall pause in our celebrations long enough to be thankful for the American workforce. Without this group of dedicated laborers, we could not exist as the prosperous nation that we have become. May God continue to bless America and all those who gratefully call her home.

 — Elton Slusser