President Obama Says 'Thank You' to Civil Servants

Carolyn Kaster/AP file photo

President Obama and leaders in his administration thanked the country’s civil servants for their work and dedication as part of the commemorations kicking off this year’s Public Service Recognition Week.

Obama said in a letter that public servants played an instrumental part in helping “lay a strong foundation for our nation’s progress.”

He added: “Our dedicated public employees are committed to a cause greater than personal ambition, and each day, they tackle many of our most urgent challenges and help move us closer to a more perfect Union.”

A separate letter signed by the Cabinet secretaries reiterated the oath of office taken by all federal employees, and said that all public servants were “united by this common pledge to serve and protect our great country.”

Public Service Recognition Week started in 1985 and is managed annually by the Public Employees Roundtable, a coalition of government employee advocacy groups. This year’s events include a public town hall meeting featuring Cabinet secretaries, a 5K Run, and the announcement of the year’s finalists for the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals, also known as the Sammies.

In an April memo to agency and department heads, former Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry said the week was especially important in a time when government budgets were becoming tighter while the challenges facing public servants continued to become more complex.

“Now more than ever, government employees need our support, encouragement and appreciation for their dedication to making a difference for others,” Berry wrote. 

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