For those readers outside of the U.S., on this day, we celebrate the signing of our Declaration of Independence. With this act, a few courageous men set this country on a path toward freedom from monarchy, and an experiment in self governance and an economy based on working to achieve our enlightened self interests.
I am not going to talk about my country’s glorious successes, of which there are many. That will be done by others today, more eloquently than I could. They will talk, in their speeches, about heros. They will speak about the deserving heros of war, those who have made the supreme sacrifice and especially those men and women who risk their health and their lives today protecting not only our freedom but the freedom of others.
In this space, I want to make a statement about those men and women who will not be mentioned in today’s city-part speeches, people who work day after day, in thankless jobs, assuring that this country succeeds — people who are equally responsible for the greatness of this country. Most do not risk their physical well-being, but they do spend their days, months, and years in jobs that are not exciting, working for significantly less pay than their corporate counterparts, with little or no opportunities for monetary advancement. But they work, none the less, to make sure that this country succeeds for its people and the dreams that our forefathers inspired. It is hard work, and men and women do that work every day.
So if you know a government bureaucrat, thank that person today for their daily efforts in making sure that roads are built and maintained, that we are protected from the occasional greed that can risk our health, and to assure that all U.S. citizens have the opportunities to achieve their dreams. If you know a police officer or fire fighter, thank that person for their work and their risks in keeping us safe. If you know a school teacher, thank that person today for their work and their creativity in helping our children to be prepared for tomorrow’s challenges.
And if you hear someone talking disparagingly about government and government workers, if you hear people complaining about how there taxes are too high, and criticize people who seek to invest in our country’s future, do not thank them. Because they are not patriots.