To most of us, Labor Day represents the end of summer and the start of a new school year, but many forget the meaning behind the holiday.

Labor Day is a holiday in honor of working people. In the US, it’s the first Monday in September. Created in the late 19th century during one of American labor history’s most difficult times, Labor Day is a day that dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers.  It sheds light on the contributions that workers have made to the prosperity and well-being of our country.  Congress passed an act making it a federal holiday in 1894.

According to The History Channel, in the late 1800s the average American worked 12-hour days and seven-day weeks in order to make a living.  Some of these workers had to deal with unsafe working conditions, particularly new immigrants and the very poor.  As manufacturing increased, so did the labor unions which would eventually fight for and protect those workers that were in need.

So, while you are celebrating this holiday weekend with friends and family at picnics, parades, and BBQs, please take a moment to give yourself a pat on the back for all of your hard work, and recognize those around you who together with all other American workers, continue to make the US a strong economic force.

Thank you for contributing to the productivity, security, prosperity, and sustainability of our country!