Webster simply says in the U.S. and Canada, the first Monday in September is a legal holiday in honor of working people.
He goes on to define work — physical or mental effort exerted to do or make something purposeful. He defines purposeful as not meaningless.
My dad was a blacksmith. It seemed to me, with my young eyes, he could make anything out of iron, from a horseshoe to artistic parts of the Atlanta Cyclorama foreground.
I have a simple iron tool he made with his name embedded in it, hanging on my wall.
I have an anvil mounted on a stump at my barn, in his honor.
My mom was a textile worker when they met. She worked hard for her entire short life doing the many meaningful, purposeful tasks a good wife and mom do.
I have a small black and white framed photo of her taken by a street photographer in downtown Atlanta. The hardest work I’ve ever done was on a Georgia cotton farm and the hardest part of that was picking cotton.
The work I did as an apprentice architect while I attended Georgia Tech was meaningful to me as a step toward my goal to become a registered architect.
I did not realize that college and my apprenticeship would take 13 years of my life. As soon as I received my Georgia State Architectural License I started my own architectural practice.
Twenty-seven days after I celebrate this Labor Day, I will celebrate the beginning of my 48th year in business as an architect. These years have been filled with meaningful and purposeful work for me and my firm.
My hope this Labor Day is that others have meaningful and purposeful work. I extend that same hope to our fellow workers across America, in these difficult times.
We know from personal experience that the Americans doing meaningful and purposeful work are not only the backbone of our great country, but the meaningful, purposeful force from their hearts that will take our country back from those who do not perform meaningful, purposeful work.
God bless the hardworking men and women of America this Labor Day.
Zachary W. Henderson