Public Service Recognition Week is dedicated to honoring our public servants. This past year has been a time that we all truly depended upon public leadership during a prolonged crisis. Say thank you to the thousands of public servants in cities, towns, schools, states and the federal government who have worked tirelessly to implement communication, testing, tracking and vaccination systems under stressful circumstances while doing their pre-pandemic jobs.

The United States has found itself with a legacy dating back to the 70’s where public service has been vilified and seen as not a career choice parents encourage. The experience of the last 14 months has given us a picture of public servants whose expertise has been on full display. Those who moved to action and lead effectively drew down on their years of experience with; other pandemics or contagious diseases, organizing large scale responses to crises, existing networks of like kind professionals, their knowledge of labor contracts, federal, state and local public health systems and their willingness to do whatever it takes.    

If you would like to host a celebration (virtually) to honor public servants this toolkit has great ideas for ways to honor those who serve even when we can’t be together in person to mark the occasion. There are even guides for teachers who would like to teach about public service and celebrate it with their middle or high school students, or for parents or caregivers to help the youngest citizens learn about who public servants are with projects here and here.

Anyone can share their appreciation from anywhere on social media with these pre-made templates that can share why you serve or why you want to thank a public servant. There is even a social media sticker you can post to your profile.

The National Archives has put together an extraordinary virtual exhibit for Public Service Recognition week on display with historic photos, letters and stories of public service across a variety of agencies, from a variety of perspectives. Do not miss the chance to see it.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to learn about, recognize and celebrate public service. We offer our sincere appreciation to all of those who serve the public and we celebrate your tenacity, resilience and care for the well being of all citizens.