I'm one of the proud few Federal Employees (not counting DOD) that "gets" to work on the 4th. I coordinate a Secretarial Ceremony on the 4th that honors Interior employees who have served the government for 30,40, and 50 years.
The Secretary of the Interior speaks, we sing the National Anthem, then we all head over with other employees who won an e-mail drawing to watch the Fireworks in DC. Although the event is exhausting, watching everyone enjoy themselves on the 4th? Totally deserving.
The Secretary went off script twice to tell the employees of the Bureau of Ocean Management, Regulation and Energy (formerly known as Minerals Management Service) to keep up the great work and he was being sincere about it. This past summer has been tough on employees at Interior's morale, and seeing that expression of thanks from Secretary Salazar was touching.
Many people salute the Armed Forces on the 4th*, which is totally appropriate, but I want to take a second to thank those maligned, "lazy," Civil Federal Employees. Not fully understanding the function of the Department of the Interior, I've had "friends" tell me that the Department shouldn't exist. Many of us could go into the private sector for more money --even in this economy, but the majority of the people I have the pleasure to work with and for; work for the Government for reasons besides the monetary benefits or the cash. Despite the problems this country has, the US remains great not only because of our armed forces. There's many, many un-sung heros out there who have also taken an oath to protect and uphold the Constitution also.
*Even if we already have two federal holidays to honor our Vets...