As a person of faith I value stories. I value history. I was taught to value truth. As I enjoy a day off this Labor Day I want to reflect, just for a moment, on the history and truth behind Labor Day.
The first Labor Day parade was held September 5, 1882, when 10,000 workers took unpaid time off to march from City Hall to Union Square in New York City.
Labor Day began out of a protest, resulting in more protests that disturbed the status quo. The economy was disrupted. Some businesses, like railroads, were burned down. The protestors were criminalized. People even died.
At the time as the movement took shape these protestors were called unpatriotic and criminal. They were demeaned and dehumanized. But the protesters and organizers persisted.
Now we celebrate it as part of the “American story.” Yet, we repeat the same behaviors and labeling for different movements, especially the ones we do not like that disrupt the status quo.
It is helpful to know history, but only if you and I are willing to humbly learn.
May we be humble. May we learn.
As we remember Labor Day and enjoy its benefits, let’s remember the story.