Let’s Start Thanking All Government Workers, Not Just The Military, For Their Service

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

It’s great that we recognize people who’ve served in the U.S. military with the simple acknowledgement of, “Thank you for your service.”

Now, with so many of our other public servants under mindless attack, we should expand the tradition and begin thanking everyone who works in government. They deserve regular thanks as well.

So when you meet teachers, you should begin the conversation by thanking them for their service, just as you would a U.S. Marine or retired Navy Captain.

Ditto when you encounter a fellow citizen who serves in the EPA, wastewater treatment, the Colorado Department of Health Policy and Environment, the Peace Corps, the courts, the IRS, and the police department.

We should all thank bus drivers, code enforcers, firefighters, street sweepers, prison guards, building inspectors, parking meter readers, public defenders, and everyone and anyone else who works in our government.

All these jobs require sacrifice, some are dangerous, and they’re all required to make our communities thrive and survive.

These workers deserve our appreciation, and they don’t get it enough, because government is too often maligned and undervalued, most often by Republicans but also by Democrats and everyday people of all stripes.

Thanking government workers would be step toward educating people about all the things government does and how important they are.

It would move us toward creating a culture of love and appreciation for government, with a shared awareness that we are the government–and that our government operations and institutions exist to implement our communal values in the real world.

When you thank street sweepers for their service, for example, you’d be fighting back against the awful attacks that dominate our discussions of government and its functions. You’d be offering the respect our government deserves–and countering all the hype about government waste and inefficiency.

It may sound dramatic, but if our democratic society is going to succeed, we have to get over the idea that government is somehow “other” or, worse, a negative force that should be tolerated only with nose clips firmly in place to alleviate the stench. Sure, government reeks sometimes, but that’s when we have to do better as community to repair it.

By thanking teachers and others for their service, we’d be in no way slighting our military. Thanking others who work for us doesn’t diminish the service of our men and women in the armed forces.

It’s true that military personnel make unique sacrifices for the country, and these should never be under-appreciated. They should continue to be recognized, as they now are.

In other words, when you start thanking the cashier when you get your driver’s license, you won’t be tarnishing the military.

The bottom line is, no work is more important than government work, whether it’s in the Coast Guard, the Capitol, or in the basement of some white office building or school.

That’s why, during this holiday season, it’s time to resolve to be more thankful to those who serve us every second of every day.

So to all you government workers who are reading this, thank you for your service.

7 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. mamajama55 says:

    I’ve been saying this for a while, and not just for the flowers, chocolate, mugs, or wine I occasionally get as a “thank you” gift.

    Some government workers do risk their lives, notably police, firefighters, and prison guards. In my profession, we are now being asked, by Negev’s compatriots, to add armed guard to our regular roles as social worker, statistician, bureaucrat, counselor, and, oh yes, teacher. 

    On Pols, I think that we have a greater than usual share of current and former government employees. 

    So here’s a thank you toast to the legislative aides, the legislators, the Forest Service bureaucrats, the social workers, the doctors, nurses, aides and orderlies, the substitute teachers, the clerks, the number crunchers, the data nerds, 👮🏾‍♀️👷🏾‍♀️👩🏻‍🚀👩🏽‍🚒🧕🏼🧟‍♂️, the zookeepers and animal rescue workers, and anyone else I forgot. 

    We truly do appreciate your work on behalf of ourselves,  the public. I hope that you are still getting paid while Trump does his pouting and posturing, or if you’re not, that you ask for help and demand fair treatment. Happy Holidays in whatever ways you celebrate them.



  2. MADCO says:

    “Government should be a place where people can come together, and no one gets left behind. No one…gets left behind. An instrument of good.”

    Toby Ziegler, as written by Aaron Sorkin

  3. Gray in Mountains says:

    Except "chaplains". They're a big part of all problems

  4. notaskinnycook says:

    I'm glad teachers were included for MJ's sake. My brother's a teacher in the state prison system, and we know they don't get the appreciation they deserve. 

  5. Meiner49er says:

    But, but…that would challenge hegemonic notions of white male masculinity. 😉

  6. ElliotFladen says:

    Government workers get “thanks”; it is called “salary” paid for by “taxes”.

    • taterheaptom says:

      This "Christmas Spirit" and "Holiday Cheer" nonsense has got to STOP! Next thing you know, as our friends at Peak Polemics noted in their latest soup, such propagandististic grand-falutin' 'Tis the Season flatulence — Good Will!  BAH HUMBUG! — is one goose-step shy of the COMMUNIST MANIFESTO! 

      So if you think about being nice to the county clerk, you may as well just admit you're a Stalinist and start the purge. 

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