Sun Editorial: A three-day weekend is an appropriate way to honor the American worker

A three-day weekend for Labor Day is perfect

By Alan Bauer
The Sun

Monday is Labor Day. The first Monday in September always is Labor Day, which always creates a three-day weekend. And while some federal holidays should not be bounced around to create an extra weekend day — Memorial Day, for example — a three-day weekend for Labor Day is perfect.

Labor Day was established in 1894 with the purpose of honoring the contributions of working men and women. There’s no better way to honor them, and reward them, than by giving them a three-day weekend to close out the summer. Or, at least it’s better than giving them a Wednesday off.

While there still are parades and speeches on Labor Day, celebration of the day has changed over the years. These days, there is less emphasis on formal ceremonies and more on rest and relaxation.

Some might argue that means less formal attention is paid to the contributions of the American worker throughout history — and they’d be right. The American worker, whether it be through the Industrial Revolution, world wars and more, played a key role in the development of the nation. The labor movement helped to bring about safe working conditions, appropriate wages and work hours, and other reforms that led to better working conditions. The contributions of these men and women deserve to be honored.

At the same time, Americans work hard. Numerous studies show we put in longer hours and take less time off than other parts of the world. A three-day weekend at the end of summer is a tangible and appropriate way to pay homage to workers.

So, this weekend, while remembering the contributions of the American worker throughout the nation’s history, also take some time off. Hold a barbecue or picnic. Take a trip to the Shore. Have fun. It is, after all, your day.