Thursday, September 1, 2022

Labor Day tribute: A salute to the legions who work holidays, late shifts

Hospital workers -- doctors, nurses, physician assistants, lab technicians, food service people
and janitors work 365 days a year. Nurses cared for Bruce Keller and Christene "Cookie" Meyers
during his recent hospitalization for a ruptured appendix. His surgeon operated at midnight.

A pair of painters spiffs up the Berkeley in San Diego.
The vintage ferry boat is open at the Maritime Museum
most days, including Memorial Day and Labor Day.


Taxi driver Marcos picked us up on a holiday
in New York City during our most recent visit.


IT'S IMPORTANT to be thankful. We are, and we try to show it, expressing gratitude to people who make our lives easier. We think about those who work late hours and days that many of us have off. While we are relaxing, hitting the beach, staging a family party, millions of others are getting up in the dark, heading to work while we're traveling, partying or simply "chillaxing."
A Hilton worker sterilizes
the door of a hotel room.

  With Labor Day in the wings, today's story is a salute to people working on this holiday and others.  We honor the pilots and flight attendants, medical personnel, hotel workers, restaurant and cafĂ© people, drivers, guides and bus drivers, law enforcement workers, janitors and bus boys and girls.

WE EXPRESS our gratitude to those legions of life-enriching workers: health care staff, hotel and restaurant crews, grocery store clerks, truck drivers bring us fresh produce, cruise personnel, UPS delivery people, vegetable and fruit stand sellers, fitness trainers, construction workers, taxi and bus drivers, coffee shop baristas and cafeteria checkers, buskers who brave the streets, parks and subways, and many others.
They play a major role in keeping us relatively sane and healthy, even during the recent, unprecedented months of isolation, anxiety and
A worker at Billings Clinic Hospital
in Montana delivers meals on Sunday.

 depression caused by the appearance of COVID.
  More Labor Day kudos, click here
Sanitizing closets, bathrooms
and hallways is this man's job,
here in a San Diego Doubletree.
A Home Depot clerk helps Bruce Keller with his purchases
for a home repair project, one of many. Keller often works holidays

SINCE WE often travel on holidays, we're curious about their origins.  The idea to create and celebrate a day for laborers was the brainchild of New Yorker Peter J. McGuire, a carpenter and labor union leader. He wanted to thank his hard-working employees, celebrate their contributions and treat them to a day off with their families, while honoring their accomplishments.
He lobbied the chain of command to back his idea, believing the entire nation should give thanks to American workers in a formal, public way. 
His desire that working people be recognized on a special day each year blossomed. As it gained support and momentum, McGuire drafted a proposal in early 1882.  He presented it at a meeting of New York's Central Labor Union.
His colleagues thought the idea a good one so plans were put in place.  
THE FIRST LABOR Day was held in his native New York City on Sept. 5 of that same year. It was a joyous affair, inaugurating a day off for workers who joined their families and friends to celebrate with picnics, concerts and speeches.
Cookie enjoys an elegant cheese
dessert, served on a holiday by
a dapper maitre d'hotel

Twelve years later in 1894, the nation followed suit and it became an official federal holiday, always on the first Monday in September. This year it is Monday, Sept. 5, the same day as its debut. It is also celebrated in Canada during this same three-day weekend, signaling the end of summer. Around the world, more than 160 other countries celebrate Labor Day May 1, their day to show appreciation for labor and workers.
May we pause with renewed appreciation and gratitude for all those who help us enjoy the good life.

Christene "Cookie" Meyers and Bruce Keller take to the
water for a whale watching adventure out of Victoria, B.C.

UP NEXT: While we're in a traveling mode, we offer our own "Ten Commandments of Travel," our tips for making your journey the happiest and most fulfilling possible.  Whether you're traveling in your native state -- or to another continent -- we offer pointers on adjusting to the new, to appreciating and finding joy in a new place or country, new language, new food, new time zones. We want you to revel in your new surroundings and make the most of your precious time on the road.  Doing a little homework is a key part of the formula for successful travel. Meanwhile, remember to explore, learn an live and  catch us weekly for a fresh spin on travel, nature, family, the arts and more:


  1. So important to travel with gratitude -- and you two do -- all best wishes for your continuing enthusiasm, health and more stories and photos for us to enjoy.

  2. We love being on the road with you two live wires.