Byron's Babbles

My Labor Day 2020 Wish

Posted in Labor Day, Leadership, Servant Leadership by Dr. Byron L. Ernest on September 7, 2020

Today will mark the first time I have written a post specifically referencing or honoring Labor Day. Honestly, I believe this might be the first time I have even done anything other than work around the farm (which is always like a holiday for me) on Labor Day. This year, however, we decided to spend the long weekend with my son, Heath, in the Murray, Kentucky area near Murray State University, where he attends.

We have had an absolutely fabulous weekend of fishing on Kentucky Lake, exploring the Land Between The Lakes, attending Mayfield (KY) Trade Days, learning to make pork rinds, having a big fish fry with the Crappie we caught, and making lots of new friends. The best part has been spending time with family around the campfire every night reminiscing and telling stories. While talking late into the night last night, Heath and I got into a discussion over what Labor Day really was all about. Neither of us had really given little or no thought to the origin or intent of the holiday. Of course, we both ended up on our phones and commenced to having a history lesson.

National Postal Museum, Smithsonian Institution

In 1894 President Grover Cleveland signed S. 730 into law making Labor Day a national holiday. From what we could gather, individual states had been celebrating Labor Day in some form or another since 1882. Then between 1887 and 1894, 23 states enacted there own Labor Day holidays. During this time in our countries history we had been experiencing many labor relations issues. These issues culminated with the Pullman Strike that actually stopped traffic west of Chicago. The railway workers actions elevated awareness of a growing need for displaying greater appreciation for American workers. Since that time we have still had labor disputes and there continues, and probably always will, be the ebb and flow between business and labor. Since the first Labor Day, many elected officials have used this day to reach out and connect with the constituents she/he serves.

As a servant leader this day is meaningful in recognizing the incredible contributions of all who have worked very hard to make this country great. I certainly believe we have made great social and economic achievements. My Labor Day 2020 wish is that we would all dedicate ourselves to continue to study our history, not bash it or try to erase it, but learn from it for continued improvement. Today I honor all who have worked so hard making strength, prosperity, and well-being possible in our country.