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Labor Day – a time to be thankful

Monday is Labor Day, an observance that’s designed to pay tribute to the American worker.

Fittingly, many Americans get a holiday from work on Labor Day, allowing them to spend time with friends and family or enjoy one last summer outing.

History books will tell you that Labor Day was conceived as a yearly national tribute to the contributions that American workers have made to the strength and prosperity of our country, and it was once marked with large-scale gatherings, parades and rallies.

In recent years, however, the typical Labor Day observance has changed — most of us now celebrate with smaller, less-formal events, including picnics and barbecues.

But no matter what you have planned for Monday, you probably view Labor Day as a time of relaxation and recreation, a day not to labor, but to rest from your labors.

Like we said, Labor Day was conceived as a tribute to the contributions of our nation’s workers, and with good reason — through the decades, working American men and women have forged the foundation upon which this nation was built. Their hard work, dedication and creativity have led to far-reaching innovations and lasting prosperity.

Through good times and bad, American workers have continued to carry this nation forward, and we salute them.

We also believe that Labor Day is an ideal time for another observance — giving thanks for our livelihoods. Those of us who are employed should pause today to reflect and consider how lucky we are.

Our jobs have made it possible to keep our families fed and clothed and maintain a roof over our heads. We continue the traditions that have made this nation great and allowed us to overcome financial hardship, defeat the enemies of freedom and retain the right to live and worship as we see fit.

When you stop and think about it, we really do have a lot to be thankful for, and Labor Day seems like an ideal time to count our blessings.

It’s also a good time to remember those who aren’t lucky enough to have a day off from work on Monday.

Yes, we’re talking about all the police officers and firefighters who will remain on duty and all the paramedics and hospital workers who will be taking care of their neighbors over the holiday weekend.

If you and your family go out for lunch or dinner, consider those who make such outings possible — give them a special thank-you. And don’t forget all the other folks who will be working on Monday so you can have a day off from work.

As you go through the day, take note of the efforts of others and give them a smile or a wave. Show your appreciation for the good job they do — a sincere thank-you is always appreciated.

Because of all these people and others like them, our highways are safer, our homes are protected from crime and fire, the hospital is staffed with caring individuals, retail stores and restaurants are open, our utilities are up and running and we can stop at the convenience store to buy gas for that family outing that we’ve been planning all summer. The list goes on and on.

We hope that you and your family have a great Labor Day, whether you go to a movie, do a little grilling or take off for the lake. You’ve earned it.

And if you’ll be working Monday, please accept our gratitude for all that you do — it is appreciated.