During this holiday season, many people are fortunate to enjoy winter vacations and travel to spend time with family and friends. For many public employees, however, their work does not stop for the holidays. Every year, there are thousands of public employees who show up for work on December 25, January 1, and every other holiday of the year. Today we want to recognize these workers and the invaluable service they provide to their communities year-round.

Firefighters, nurses, police officers, and other emergency personnel work throughout the holiday season. They can’t take a day off from the important work of keeping the public safe. If you set your kitchen on fire with some holiday baking gone awry, you want a firefighter to show up at your house and put out the fire. Not only does the work these public employees perform happen every day of the year, but it is often dangerous work. They put themselves in harm’s way to help others.

These public employees have earned their pensions through their service. When misguided politicians propose gutting pensions for public employees, think about the nurses who are busy saving lives while others are sipping hot chocolate by the fireplace. Think about the police officers keeping the streets safe while you enjoy your holiday festivities.

We at the National Public Pension Coalition are grateful for the work of all public employees, but we especially want to recognize those who work during the holidays while the rest of us are enjoying time off. It is through this important work that these public employees earn their pensions and we are grateful that these workers will be able to retire securely at the end of their careers. Let’s hope that in the year ahead more workers will gain access to the security and reliability of a defined benefit pension.