October 15, 2013

To: All Department of the Interior Employees

From: Secretary

Subject: Continued Government Shutdown

My thoughts continue to be with all of you as this government shutdown persists. I know and appreciate that you want to be at work serving the American people in the myriad ways that Interior contributes to our country–some very visible and others behind the scenes. Last week, one of our colleagues sent me this quote from President John F. Kennedy that reflects exactly what I have felt from interacting with so many of you during the 6 months I have joined the ranks of public service:

"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 need.”-- John F. Kennedy, 1961.

If there is to be a "silver lining" to this cloud of a government shutdown, it is the increased awareness of the American people to the importance of the work you do and the value that all Americans receive from their investment in you.

I profoundly hope that we will be welcoming all of you back to work soon, and that the damage done during this shutdown period can be addressed in the coming months. Please know that the President is intent on getting the government back up and running, and all of you back to work serving the American people. In the meantime, we will continue to update www.doi.gov/shutdown with information that you may find useful.

Hang in there!