Honoring Civil Servants

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More than 1,200 cities this week are paying tribute to the 20 million federal, state and local government employees who serve their communities and the country.

Vice President Al Gore kicked off Public Service Recognition Week yesterday with a special "Breakfast of Champions," honoring seven government programs that provide excellent service to American taxpayers.

Dozens of organizations are honoring civil servants throughout the country this week. In Seattle, Wash., on Thursday the American Society for Public Administration Evergreen Chapter will hold its annual awards ceremony. The Federal Executives Association in Anchorage, Alaska, will host its Employee of the Year luncheon on Thursday as well. In Manchester, N.H., on Friday the Federal Executives Association will hold its annual awards ceremony. Friday is also Foreign Service Day. The State Department will host a reception in Washington honoring the contributions of department employees and foreign service officers.

Also in Washington, 100 agencies are expected to descend on the National Mall from Thursday to Sunday with special exhibits, entertainment and food. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., has been invited to give the opening address, along with leaders from federal agencies and the District of Columbia. Representatives from dozens of civilian agencies will join a large contingent from the Department of Defense to showcase the ways their agencies serve the nation.

The Environmental Protection Agency will host an educational theater for kids, while the Small Business Administration will show people how to start their own businesses and the U.S. Customs Service will exhibit its drug-sniffing dogs. The military will display hardware ranging from the F-16 Fighting Falcon to the Patriot missile launcher to the HH-60 Seahawk helicopter.

Public Service Recognition Week is sponsored by Public Employees' Roundtable, a coalition of 37 associations of government managers and professionals.

For more information on events across the country, visit Public Employees' Roundtable's Web site for a special guide.

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