the blog of DC Drinking Liberally

August 31, 2005

Bosses Urge Government Employees to Participate in Freedom Walk


Karen, a reader in California, reminded me a few days ago about this announcement from the VA:

The Secretary of Veterans Affairs has urged employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), veterans, their families and all Americans to take part in the “Freedom Walk” that begins Sept. 11 at the Pentagon.

“This is everyone’s chance to salute the valor of ordinary Americans during the 9-11 attack and the extraordinary sacrifices of our service personnel in the Global War on Terrorism,” said the Honorable R. James Nicholson, Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

Karen notes that the Freedom Walk site itself never talked about the GWOT (or GSAVE, for that matter) and that the announcement mentions the 2006 pre-election plans for Freedom Walks in every state that were memory-holed a couple of weeks ago.

I suppose it’s not surprising that the VA, being closely connected to the Pentagon, would be pressuring its employees to attend the Freedom Walk. But now the Department of Commerce has joined in (and there’s even an audio version):

This is Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, and I have a message for every Commerce employee in the Washington, D.C. area.

I’m asking you to join me and thousands of our fellow Americans on Sunday, September 11th as we stand up for our men and women in uniform. […]

I strongly encourage all Commerce employees to join together in support of our country and the brave men and women who defend it.

Are any other government departments making such announcements? If you work for the government (or even if you work in the private sector) and have gotten similar “encouragement” from your superiors, let us know in the comments or by e-mail to

By the way, I finally decided to create a “Freedom Walk” category, so you can now browse through all our posts about the event.

Update (Sept. 1): Via Kos, I see that Americablog has posted about a similar message sent to employees at the Department of Health and Human Services:

From: Announcements to all U.S. DHHS Employees
[mailto:HHS-STAFF@LIST.NIH.GOV] On Behalf Of News, HHS (HHS/OS)
Sent: Wednesday, August 31, 2005 4:57 PM
Subject: Commemoration of Patriot Day

In twelve days, we will commemorate Patriot Day, a day to remember the tragic events of September 11, 2001, a day to honor members of the Armed Forces currently serving at home and abroad, and a day to reiterate our commitment to the freedoms we enjoy. I will honor Patriot Day by participating in the Freedom Walk, a memorial event sponsored by the Department of Defense. I invite you as employees of the Department of Health and Human Services to join me.

The Freedom Walk begins at 10 a.m. in the Pentagon’s south parking lot, winds two miles through Arlington National Cemetery and over the Potomac River, and ends at the Reflecting Pool on the National Mall where country music star Clint Black will perform. The walk is free, but people must register by visiting

September 11 marked a change in the way we view our world, our nation and ourselves. The betterment of ourselves and our country is our response. In whatever way you choose to commemorate the horrendous acts of early September four years ago, let us once again renew our gratitude for the freedoms we enjoy and reaffirm our commitment to tolerance, peace and liberty throughout the world.

They’re really going all out on the opponents-are-unpatriotic message, and at this point it looks like it’s in all government departments.

Update (Sept. 7): HUD has joined in.

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