Earl Rice

There will never be a “Public Servants Day” on the scale of “Veterans Day”. Nor should there be. And the local populace will never care about the “Public Servants” like they do their Veterans. Public Servants would never put up with the sacrifices that Military members do (and by implication, Veterans have done). Trying to compare public service with military service is almost degrading to those that served in the Armed Forces and the sacrifices they have made, some even the ultimate sacrifice. To get a good feel for it, go down to the Veterans Administration Medical Center there in DC and just walk around for a while and observe. You will see the last few of the WW2 Veterans, the Korean War Veterans, Viet Nam Vets, and on to the young Vets that are just back from Afghanistan. That will be the most sobering experience as to the implications of the sacrifices that were made by our Nation’s Veterans. To refresh all concerning Veterans Day. Originally, it was called Armistice Day (in some countries it is called Remembrance Day, ANZAC Day, Poppy Day, in reference to the fields of Flanders), and was celebrated on November 11, the day Germany and by default the Triple Alliance surrendered during WW1. [Yes, I brought out the bagpipes, tuned them up, and played Amazing Grace at 11am this morning.] And, it is celebrated in the Allied countries to honor all those had sacrificed to win what was then thought to be the War to end all Wars. A small trip through Europe, off the tourist path, will reveal that every little village has the War Memorial with the names of those that had paid the ultimate sacrifice. The true impact can never be understood, until you see a village of 300 to 350 people, and under “The Great War” you will see 30 or more names, then under WW2 see another 30 or more names. In some of these villages, that would mean almost an entire generation gone. Then came WW2, and after such, in a small town called Emporia, KS, the first Veterans Day was celebrated to honor all Veterans that had served and died on November 11. The parade had WW1 Veterans and WW2 Veterans marching in it. From there it grew and finally the name was officially changed to Veterans Day, a National Holiday. Veterans Day, for the most part, in the United States, has evolved to be more for those that survived the wars, while Memorial Day (which had it’s roots since right after the Civil War) was for those that had made the ultimate sacrifice. No, there should not be a “Public Servant Day”. Having a Public Servants day, is like having a Farmers Day, a Mechanics Day, or any other type of job day. It’s a far cry from being an analyst at Census, or an HR Specialist at OPM, and being a soldier/marine involved in a fire fight be it whatever war they are in. It’s a far cry from being a clerk in a nice air conditioned office in say Treasury, and humping it in the jungles of Central America, or the desert in Iraq/Afghanistan, or in any number of the hot spots our service members are serving. And it’s a far cry from going to Massachusetts for 2 weeks of training, and being deployed for 9 to as many as 18 months in a combat zone. No, there is no need for a “Public Servants Day”.