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Honoring Public Servants in the Midst of a Pandemic

May 04, 2020


Challenge
Modernize and Reinvigorate the Public Service


By Academy Fellows Dan G. Blair and Janice Lachance

Federal, state, local, and tribal governments deliver vitally important services to the American people every day. Since 1985, Americans have honored our public employees during the first week of May. This year, with all the sacrifice and uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, Public Service Recognition Week has even more resonance than usual. Public servants at all levels of government have long put their lives on the line to protect us, and this work is taking place on a massive scale under the most challenging circumstances today. 

Our approximately 22 million public servants have an important role in meeting the most critical public needs. They have been indispensable since our nation’s founding in helping to build a more perfect union dedicated to liberty, justice and equality for all. And throughout our history, they have been critical to maintaining continuity of government during changes of political leadership and in times of crisis.  

In the midst of the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, many dedicated public servants—doctors, nurses, first responders—are providing the life-saving services that we depend upon for our safety and health even as they sacrifice their own. Other public servants are still working valiantly to provide police and fire protection, educate our children, conduct medical research, provide income support to individuals and businesses, care for veterans, deliver our mail, steward our natural resources, and protect our environment.

To all of them, we give our thanks and owe a sincere debt of gratitude. 

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