An open letter to the U.S. Postal Service
July 25, 2014
As I was picking my kids up at school the other day I passed again, as I have so many times before, the house of an elderly man.
This time he was obviously waiting for something as he stood upon his driveway with his hands in his pockets. This time I was stuck in traffic longer than was usual and so as I waited I had the opportunity to wonder for what was he waiting as he stood there.
A postal truck stopped on the other side of the street and the letter carrier driving it got out, negotiated the traffic to cross the street, and entered the man's driveway with the mailbag he was carrying.
I watched as, upon seeing the postman, the man's face lit up and the Post Office employee who obviously knew the man's name gave him a good greeting for the day and gave him the mail he was hoping to receive.
The smile on the man's face as the mailman gave him his mail and a friendly greeting struck me as a profound symbolism of our American culture and the connectivity that exists between all of us Americans among ourselves and with the rest of the world.
It also struck me, more profoundly so, as to how much the United States Postal Service represents and serves all of us in our desire for the feeling of community and connectivity with our families, friends and everyone else in this otherwise vast and distant world of ours.
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In closing, I want to reiterate how important I believe the Postal Service is to our neighborhoods, our communities and our nation — the Post Office is one of the most important glues that adheres us together as a people.
From the Pony Express and yesteryear's remote outposts to the automobiles, railcars and aircraft of today: thank you for all that you do, and long may you last against the privatists who falsely purport the USPS should be unfunded or otherwise dismantled.
There are some things the private sector can never account for and the United States Postal Service is one of those entities.
Jesse King lives in Nevada City.