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Small Alaska communities are the state's backbone. Economically, if they're strong, then so, too, is Alaska.

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Robert ‘Rod’ Orwin Davidson, 68, died Oct. 21, 2014, in Tacoma, Washington
Mary C. Smith, 93, died Oct. 19, 2014, in Ketchikan.
8/30/2014
Labor Day

Labor Day is about work ethics.

Or it should be.

In the current economy not all Americans can claim a paid job, but most Americans still do something. It's often work, and a choice is made in regard to whether to work well.

Work includes all manner of activities: Just ask a stay-at-home mom or Mr. Mom taking care of a household. Or the kid required to do chores. The volunteer who mows the church's grass and pulls weeds in its flower pots. The advocate for a heart-felt cause.

It's all work, and some of these examples of work are often in addition to a paid job that requires one's attention and commitment for a minimum of 40 hours per week — often longer.

The idea of a holiday to honor the worker came about with the latter in mind. It was created by the labor movement.

It was devised to give the workers a day dedicated to drawing attention to their economic achievements, which benefit their communities and states, and the nation.

To accomplish, it takes a worker. The accomplishment is judged by the effort of the worker and that is determined by the worker's ethics.

Government started to recognize the worker officially in the 1880s. The Oregon legislature passed a law creating the first Labor Day in 1887, and Congress followed with an act in 1894 after most other states had established similar observances. The act made the first Monday in September the official day of observance.

Many Americans will be able to enjoy the Labor Day holiday, combining it with Saturday and Sunday to make an extended weekend. Some will take off for a final summer outing, while others might just cozy in at home with a John Grisham novel or a televised college football game. Others might work at home, just like they do many weekends.

Some won't be able to take time off from "the office" for the Labor Day weekend. They will be working — at the stores, for the airlines and taxi companies, and on the ferries, providing public safety and any other number of services that seem to just happen without drawing much attention of the general public unless they don't occur.

At the very least, they can be thanked for their efforts over the weekend.

Whatever one does over the weekend, let's do it safely, enjoy what's meant to be fun and relaxing, remember "the worker," and appreciate the job well done.

Oh, and say, "thank you."