Seasons of Service

Notable Quotes for National Service Recognition Week

Use for Journal Prompts or Excerpts for Poster Ideas

It is a distinct pleasure to extend special greetings to the
over 20 million members of the public service preparing
to celebrate Public Service Recognition Week. Your
contributions to governance at the local, state and national
levels improve the quality of American life and
safeguard the principles of freedom and democracy held
so dear by the people of this nation...and help all of us
keep the American dream alive.


It isn't enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn't enough to believe in it. One must work at it.

In the long-run every government is the exact symbol of
its people, with their wisdom and unwisdom; we have to
say, Like People like Government.


Government is a trust, and the officers of the government
are trustees; and both the trust and the trustees are created
for the benefit of the people.


We have too many high-sounding words, and too few actions that correspond with them.

Public confidence in the integrity of the government is
indispensable to faith in democracy; and when we lose
faith in the system, we have lost faith in everything we
fight and spend for.


Let the public service be a proud and lively career. And let
every man and woman who works in any area of our
national government, in any branch, at any level, be able
to say with pride and with honor in future years: 'I served
the United States government in that hour of our nation's


You can't run a government solely on a business basis...
Government should be human. It should have a heart.


No real social change has ever been brought about without a revolution... revolution is but thought carried into action.

Which is the best government? That which teaches us to
govern ourselves.

When I talk with students, I tell them what you do in
government at any given level matters more than what
business people at a comparable level do. What they do is
good for the management and the stockholders, and
sometimes, for all the customers as well. What you do
affects the well-being, survival even, of millions.

The government is us we are the government, you and I.

The ability of this or any administration to succeed
depends in no small degree upon the energy, dedication,
and spirit of the great majority of federal employees.

Is 'okay' enough for those who direct the next Shuttle
mission? After Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, what
level of competence do we want inspecting our nuclear
plants? The next time you take an air flight, do you tell
your family not to worry, the controller's aren't the best
but they are okay?

Employees who use imagination, initiative, and bold
vision will be able to benefit in ways that they could
never do before. Those who believe in government the
most and who dedicate their careers to lives of public
service have the greatest stake in making it work.

It is a work environment for which top-notch people are
selected on the basis of ability. A place where the product
of one's hands is more important than the color of one's
hands. A place where the work itself takes precedence over
the sex of the person doing it. A place where service to the
people transcends party labels. A place where the word
'service' means exactly what it says

So very much of what we are as a nation-and what we
are to achieve as a people-depends upon the caliber and
character of the federal career people. In no other endeavor
can you more directly serve our county's cause-or
the values on which we stand-than in the public service.

The truth is that the government service, in the light of its
tremendous size and scope, has a remarkable record of
honesty and integrity. I firmly believe that its ethical
standards are as high as those of any government in the
world. I firmly believe that its ethical standards are higher
than those prevailing in the American business community.

Throughout my years in government, I have been privileged
to know and work with extraordinary men and
women. Day in and day out, in a variety of settings and
at every level of government, these quiet heroes work to
give their fellow citizens the tools and opportunities to
make the most of their lives.

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