What Are We Actually Celebrating This Labor Day?

08/30/2013 03:17 pm ET | Updated Oct 30, 2013

Who among us can actually believe that Labor Day is already here? Wasn't it just Memorial Day? It feels as if I just finished up the potato salad from that celebration when I'm making it again for this one. I think I can actually count on all of one hand how many times I saw the pool or laid on the beach this summer. I'm sure many of us can say the same.

As this nation celebrates a holiday that officially dates back to 1894 as signed into formal existence by President Grover Cleveland, might we all truly take a moment to reflect upon how far the United States has come since that moment in time. Yes, there is no doubt that our country is not perfect... that our current employment situation is extraordinarily strained. Certainly, this holiday may not feel so joyous for many. That said, however, we should not allow the grimness of this reality to overshadow the blood, sweat, and tears devoted by so many to push this country along throughout every day in our history. Nothing good ever came from wallowing in self-pity.

Our country is one that has endured horrific times over the course of many lifetimes. Suffice it to say, it is the stamina, dedication, ingenuity, and strong work ethic its people that has moved us out of those bleak moments into the boom years. Breaking ground and forging ahead is not new to us as a nation, especially during the darkest moments when there doesn't seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel.

Today, might seem like one of those moments to many, but good things always seem to arise when least expected. The celebration of Labor Day stands as a clear example of this -- ironically, more clear than you think -- as beyond just recognizing the hard work so many of us put in daily, this holiday commemorates the positive conclusion drawing a nationwide railroad strike to a close in 1894. Known as the Pullman Strike, we traveled through that tunnel and continued laying tracks to today. We didn't just lie down and allow ourselves to get run over by the train. Had we done so, we might not be eating potato salad with our loved ones this weekend.

This nation was built on muscle... a combination of brain and brawn that hasn't failed us yet. Whatever the color of the collar you wear, we need to remember that none of us make this country great by ourselves. Nor did we arrive here on our own. Many hard working individuals carried us into this Labor Day and just as they did, we need to do the same for generations to come.

Let this Labor Day mark a renewed commitment and belief in this country. All labor statistics to the contrary, we have more on our side than mere numbers. We have proof that we will survive and historical evidence that, in our effort to survive, we will once again thrive. After all, we have always figured it out before. We will do so again.

Happy Labor Day, Everyone!