After celebrating and honoring the civil servants who provide this great country with what could be described as the heartbeat of democracy during Public Service Recognition Week, May 7-10, 2009, we must remember that millions of hard working civilians support the nation day-in and day-out. Many times we are frustrated by the perceived negative results that are placed at the feet of “those government workers.” This is truly regrettable and by no means does it reveal the actual successes of hard working civil servants. From the municipalities with our city and county workers, to the services provided by state employees, to the federal workers in our various agencies across this land, we often fail to see the true results of their efforts – our freedom.
As we begin to transform our approach to how we advance our national and foreign agendas, we still see expressed some of the partisan views that will restrict forward progress for our citizens. Our economic crisis is in fact helping citizens to understand the need for government, whether related to regulatory, infrastructure, or employment needs. The reliance on government to provide a sturdy and strong foundation to assist in the recovery of our economic crisis has moved once again to the forefront of our national policy. As we have seen in the early days of the Obama Administration, a major part of the national debate to turn the current negative tide has centered on the need to retain our civil servants and the role they play in our nation’s survival.
The Public Service Recognition Week celebration and the acknowledgment it provided to the many civil servants throughout our nation places public service in the light it deserves. The only drawback of this event is that it occurs only once a year. Look around you in your community and you will find that many everyday events that occur without fanfare or news headlines are the true essence of our democracy. We enjoy in the United States of America the gift of freedom due in large part to those individuals that go to work in a variety of federal agencies to provide the oversight and service that makes the country move. In our neighborhoods we experience the value of those civil servants in our churches, synagogues, sports leagues, community activities and voluntary functions that go beyond public service.
I ask each of you to think about those you deal with everyday and the service they provide – the school teacher, the firefighter, the shipyard worker, the food inspector. Where would this democracy and our freedom stand in a society that was void of those who daily serve the public?
In this political environment focused on change, it is important for each of us to understand we can rest assured that no matter what the outcome, this country will remain strong. The workings of all levels of government will adjust to the changes in policymakers and their platforms as they always have. This is due in no small part to these civil servants – the Silent Patriots – who are engaged in their roles because they truly believe our nation’s survival far outweighs partisan skirmishes over policies and regulations. The Silent Patriots go to work every day and deliver because they realize the value of their work on behalf of the United States of America and that the stability created provides citizens and others the dream and reality of hope and freedom. So I ask you to take a moment and identify your nearest civil servant acquaintance and thank them for the service they provide as the spirit of the Silent Patriots endures.