Labor Day brings reason to celebrate

Published 10:46 am Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Last summer I had two college degrees and no job.

I found out in June I would be attending the University of Mississippi for graduate school, and I decided I should put my journalism degree to use.

I searched the Internet and found The Oxford Eagle to be the premier source for hometown news for Oxford since 1868, so I called them up.

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Over the next few months, I left messages, I sent emails and I remained unemployed.

When I moved to Oxford, I added office visits to my employment efforts.

“We would love to have you, but there isn’t an open spot,” they would say. “Not right now.”

After about a month, I suppose my persistence paid off — no one left, but I was offered a job.

Maybe they appreciated my tenacity, maybe they just wanted me to quit bothering them, either way, I became gainfully employed Sept. 8, 2014, exactly one year ago today.

That makes 365 days I’ve been employed with Boone Newspapers, and I’m celebrating my first work anniversary today, fittingly, the day after Labor Day.

First celebrated in 1882, Labor Day is intended to pay tribute to the driving force of our country’s strength, freedom and leadership: the American worker.

It’s strange to think that back when The Oxford Eagle was founded there was no Labor Day, but I think those early employees would agree the American workforce is something worth celebrating.

Look around; our way of living has been completely shaped by workers. From the engineers at ERDC keeping us safe from flood to the city workers collecting our trash every week, workers make possible life as we know it.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, “The vital force of labor added materially to the highest standard of living and the greatest production the world has ever known and has brought us closer to the realization of our traditional ideals of economic and political democracy.”

Millions of Americans have come together to make this great nation what it is today, and I’m proud to be a part of that just like my parents and grandparents before me.

One year later, it still feels good to be a part of the workforce. It’s nice to know I’ll always have this Labor Day to make me feel celebrated on my work anniversary.

Austin Vining is a staff writer at The Vicksburg Post. You may reach him at or 601-636-4545.