Public Service Recognition Week this year, running from May 1-7, brings moments of appreciation to millions of public employees of all stripes.
This year, as ever since its founding in 1985, Public Service Recognition Week provided moments to appreciate the public servants across the country.
“America’s dedicated public servants are the lifeblood of our democracy,” President Biden said in the traditional annual White House declaration recognizing the occasion. “Every day, millions of public workers at all levels of government do extraordinary things to make our lives better and our country stronger. During Public Service Recognition Week, we honor the dedicated Federal, State, Tribal, and local public servants who embody the spirit of service and endless possibilities that define America.”
Various federal employee groups and labor organizations also held events and offered words recognizing public workers.
“NTEU thanks the federal employees who have dedicated their careers to public service,” National Treasury Employees Union President Tony Reardon—whose IRS members are facing unprecedented work load challenges in recent years—spoke out for all public workers. “We are proud to stand with you, every day, as you show up – even through a global pandemic – to deliver essential services to the American people.”
“We honor the sacrifices made by government workers over the last two years as they put their health and safety on the line to keep essential government services running for the American people during a deadly pandemic,” the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) stated, offering an impressive fact sheet on just some of the accomplishments and ways government employees serve and protect the wider public in challenging times.
“This week, as we pause to thank public service workers for their labor and sacrifices, we should also commit to honoring them with action,” declared Lee Saunders, the president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), which also represents federal employees. “We must invest in and expand our public service workforce to better respond to future crises.”
Federal departments and agencies—from Commerce to the National Security Agency—held events and offered words of recognition for their dedicated personnel. And of course the week saw the Sammies awards, tapping the best among feds with a moment in the spotlight.
“Thank you for all your exemplary work,” President Biden offered in his remarks to the finalists as well as their families, and opening his embrace to the wider circle all feds and their colleagues. “And congratulations to all of you.”
Millions of feds—and their state and local colleagues—are engaged in everything from defending our shores or negotiating with governments abroad, to fighting the pandemic and supporting Americans’ health in general, to analyzing and regulating our economy, and on to guiding the education of our rising young people. Millions more public servants at all levels of government are hands-on fighting fires, handling critical infrastructure, re-building roads or filling our potholes, or doing literally thousands of other missions critical to keeping a modern society running. The tradition of setting aside this brief period of heightened recognition for their work continues.