Pride and Respect at the Los Angeles Labor Day Parade
Labor Day in Los Angeles
Having never belonged to a union, I’ve never really thought about Labor Day as anything more than a great three weekend. Usually spent at the beach or with friends at a pool party, the day was a nice escape from the traditional five-day work week. Today, however, in the hot Los Angeles sun, Bob and I traveled to Wilmington, California (near Long Beach) to watch and film the Los Angeles Labor Day Parade and were both surprised by how we felt afterwards.
Labor Day was first celebrated on September 5, 1882 in New York City and in 1894, the US Congress declared the first Monday in September as a legal holiday.
Not drawing much of a crowd, the Labor Day Parade seemed more like an event you were honored to be apart of, to actually be walking with your union and your family, all supporting each other, than an event you went to watch. The parade route was short, ending with a large group picnic in a park, but the energy and enthusiasm was high. Basically several unions gathered, from teachers to steel workers, mixed in with a few local high school marching bands, a round an old restored classic cars with one man on a speaker shouting happy Labor Day at the end.
The history of the Los Angeles Labor Day Parade has gone from a several thousand people celebration in downtown LA to a small rally type event held in South LA County presented by the LA and Long Beach Coalition.
It wasn’t a big spectacle, but somehow watching the families come together on something they believe in so greatly was moving. Even though I am not apart of their unions, I felt connected to the community. When we arrived back at the car, Bob asked what I thought of the experience. Strangely enough, I couldn’t quite put in words how I felt. We were now driving back up to LA and the community that I felt so connected to just minutes prior now seemed like a world away. Even still, I left with more pride and respect for the people working in Los Angeles.
Here are a few photos from the parade:
Do you attend local events in your hometown or while traveling? Does it make you feel more connected with the people?