Labor Day

by MY HERO Staff from Laguna Beach, California in United States

Without labor nothing prospers. ~Sophocles

Labor Day, the traditional end of summer vacation, means so much more than the commencement of school and termination of long, lazy days. This annual holiday, which always falls on the first Monday of September in the United States, honors the social and economic achievements of American workers.

On the U.S. Department of Labor's website, Samuel Gompers, founder and president of the American Federation of Labor once said: "All other holidays are in a more or less degree connected with conflicts and battles of man's prowess over man, of strife and discord for greed and power, of glories achieved by one nation over another. But Labor Day venerates the achievements won through hard work and dedication, geared toward making the world a better place."

MY HERO pays tribute to the many working men, women and children who have contributed to humanity. They come from all walks of life and from all corners

Christa McAuliffe
NASA / Public domain via Wikimedia

of the globe. Many work behind the scenes to get the job done, others are public figures, some affect the lives of many, others affect the lives of just a few. But all work hard, and all make a difference.


Teachers, like after-school music instructor Herschel Vaughn and astronaut/teacher Christa McAuliffe, have made a difference through ceaseless dedication to their students.

MY HERO celebrates Business Heroes and Entrepreneurs such as Habitat for Humanity co-founders Millard and Linda Fuller.

Alan Rabinowitz, who started the first ever jaguar preserve, and mountain gorilla expert and advocate Dian Fossey are just two environmental Labor Day heroes profiled on MY HERO's Earthkeeper page.

Scientists and those in the medical field labor all year round to find cures and heal the sick. Patch Adams, the doctor who found his niche mixing medicine and laughter, is one of many Scientist heroes.

Working hero Judith Blair donated a kidney and saved a man’s life.

Habitat for Humanity build for Houston Navy Week
Craig Z. Rodarte/U.S. Navy / Public domain via Wikimedia

She’s listed along with many other heroes as a Lifesaver. So is Mikey Ray Frasier, a hero three-times over.

Another important hero is Iqbal Masih, a brave young advocate who fought and died for child labor laws. He is profiled in the MY HERO Freedom Hero section. Activist Craig Kielburger was inspired by this young hero and with his organization works to protect children around the world. He is celebrated for his work along with other Peacemakers.

There are many, many more heroes to be honored on this Labor Day, many right in our own backyards.

High-school coach Derwin Henderson and his fiancé, Latoria Bouie are inspiring mentors to their charges at Taft High School.

Cancer victim Greg Kasabian was not just a police officer, but also a hero to his young family. Matthew Renna’s expert woodcarvings enthrall his granddaughter. Despite her health problems, Kristie Porta is always there to lend a hand, be it to her co-workers or a 17-year-old teen with a newborn baby. James Scott Bryar may have a learning disability, but that doesn’t stop him from holding down a great job and taking care of his many animals, including 15 rats and five dogs.

Debra A. Boyd does the best she can as a single mom, and her daughter is grateful for it.

Former Army paratrooper Michael Kelley survived a horrific, fiery accident and went on to become a police officer with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.

Kia named her sister Joneice, older by just two years, as her hero because she basically raised and protected Kia during a tough childhood in the projects. Cory respects his problem-solving 73-year-old grandfather Fred Fraundorfer because he’s active and a great neighbor, shoveling snow out of driveways, gardening and building birdhouses.

Shauna from Encino writes that her friend Jim Coplin is an amazing role model because he is a conscientious worker and lover of life. “A hero can be someone who makes an impact on someone’s life, helps unconsciously, or does little mitzvahs daily. It’s someone who can turn bad days into something worth living for. It’s someone’s traits or characteristics. It’s my friend Jim.”

Labor Day heroes can also be historic.

135619Ellen ChurchUnknown author / Public domain via Wikimedia Ellen Church opened up new doors for women by creating jobs for “sky girls,” now known as flight attendants, in 1930.

She did this to promote air travel, and in the process, helped young girls earn much needed pay. “It was the beginning of the Depression, and a job was a job. Flying was a new thing. People would line up to see us come in,” said Margaret Arnott, 83, one of the original eight flight attendants.

Lillie Hitchcock-Coit supported the San Francisco firefighters, encouraging others to do the same. She showed up at nearly every fire attended by the Knickerbocker Number 5 and became an honorary member of the team.

Jerry Lynn Ross is the first person to go on seven space flights and holds the record with nine space walks (totaling 58 hours and 18 minutes).

Do you have any heroes who embody the principles of Labor Day? Visit the MY HERO Guestbook and tell us about them. Or visit what others say about their favorite "Everyday Working Heroes."

Page created on 8/29/2011 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 8/30/2021 11:15:28 PM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.

Related Links

The Origins of Labor Day - A PBS Online News Hour with Jim Lehrer Transcript explaining the circumstances surrounding the establishment of Labor Day as a national holiday.