Monday, September 04, 2006

Labor Day Weekend To The Holidays

It's Labor Day Weekend and Summer is officially over; we now return you to your regularly-scheduled work week, school sessions and forget the boat, cabin and vacation.

Did someone say, "Labor Day"? Oh, yeah; the creation of the labor movement, dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. [US Dept. of Labor] Not a word in there about end of summer, but much to remind us of the dignity of work. Gimme another dog and a beer; we'll talk about the workers later.

Memorial Day, a/k/a/ Decoration Day a/k/a the start of the early Summer season. T'wasn't always this way. Decoration Day, when women's groups in the south were decorating graves of deceased servicemen. Later, it became Memorial Day to honor all the war dead, not just those of the Civil War. "Many Americans nowadays have forgotten the meaning and traditions of Memorial Day. At many cemeteries, the graves of the fallen are increasingly ignored, neglected." [USMemorialDay.org]

Veterans' Day, known to older folks as Armistice Day, comes and goes as a holiday that we little notice nor long remember. After a while, the new veterans had no association with that World War 1 observance, so it was changed in 1954 to Veterans' Day. People should not take the day off unless they can pass a simple quiz about its origins.

The Holidays. As in, "I'll see you over the holidays," or, "I'll get to that after the holidays." The holidays? Oh, just things like the yearly remembrance of Thanksgiving for all we have, the ritual observance of the birth of the Son of God on earth, the new calendar year. "The holidays," we call these three major events in our lives; just the holidays.

I think those who become citizens take tests that native-borns like us could never pass if they were set before us as a pop quiz. As a college student -- a college student -- said one day about Martin Luther King, who has a holiday, "He was a black guy; he did something." Yes, kid, he showed the dignity that belonged to his race ... the human race.

3 Comments:

Anonymous ruthc said...

You left out Victory Day. But I'm not surprised.
Rhode Island is the only state in the Union that still has a holiday to commorate the end of WW II. I hope we always do.

September 05, 2006 12:01 AM  
Blogger Tom Carten said...

I think it also declared its independence from England before the other colonies got around to it.

September 05, 2006 12:59 AM  
Blogger Cold Josh Vail said...

Dutiful every year my grandfather would hang out his huge 48-star flag on Flag Day, Memorial Day, July 4th and maybe a couple of others and the rest of the year it was folded neatly in a drawer someplace.

As for Victory Day....Isn't that also celebrated in Japan too?

September 06, 2006 7:11 AM  

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