On Memorial Day Weekend, it’s worth not only remembering fallen soldiers but also considering who gets left out of the holiday honors. I, for one, believe that teachers should be thanked for their service by passersby. Why not? Anyone who has ever served in a classroom (which I have) knows how difficult-yet-important it is. Even those who have never taught acknowledge that a genuine democracy is impossible without a robust system of education—a system that would crumble without strong teachers.
And what about nurses? I’ve always respected nurses because they never get the credit yet seem to do the lion’s share of the work in hospitals. I’m a big fan of people who take on jobs that are necessary for the functioning of society—yet are neither lucrative nor glamorous; I would add custodians, undertakers, farmers, secretaries, and sanitation workers to this list. Like the indispensable long snapper in football, there are many valuable working people you only hear about when they fail—which means that they are taken for granted.
So while we honor those who have given their lives on the battlefield, let us not forget others who have made far less glamorous sacrifices.
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