Editor’s Note: As are millions of other Americans, we are honoring Labor Day by not laboring on this day. So, in lieu of an editorial, we present the words Ronald Reagan delivered on his last Labor Day as president.
August 31, 1988
Each Labor Day, we pause as a nation to honor some of the greatest heroes of the American story. On this 94th Labor Day, I ask all Americans to join me in offering heartfelt thanks and praise to working men and women.
We salute working people because they have built our land with skill, energy, and resourcefulness, transforming raw materials into a shining edifice of freedom and prosperity. On Labor Day we recognize these achievements and reflect on the meaning and dignity of work and on the values it protects and strengthens — the values we as a nation hold most dear.
In both peacetime and time of war, American workers have always offered each other and the world their very best, affirming their liberty as individuals and as members of a team and promoting the ideals of free enterprise and democracy here and around the globe.
America’s workers continue to display the spirit, ingenuity, and adaptability to new conditions that labor and employers alike need if our economy is to continue to grow. This willingness to meet every challenge speaks volumes about the health and vitality of our way of life. Let us always remember that so much of what we are, we owe to working men and women.
God gave us this land, but, under His good graces, the labor of our people has helped it flourish and pour forth its plenty for ourselves and the world. For all these reasons, America celebrates Labor Day, 1988 with fresh gratitude and pride.