There’s a lot to celebrate in June. Combine a quirky holiday desk calendar and a quick Google search, and you’ll know that there’re wide-ranging reasons for hashtags and parties. 

Some are serious – from the freedom of expression recognized by PRIDE month, to a celebration of life on Cancer Survivors Day. We venerate the heroism of D-Day, commemorate long-overdue freedom on Juneteenth and acknowledge the everyday heroes who helped raise us on Fathers’ Day.  
Others are a bit more frivolous – from National Drive-In Movie Day to National Kissing Day (thankfully before National Onion Ring Day, celebrated later in the month).  

Today, we acknowledge one of the lesser-known days, “Making Life Beautiful Day.” It’s an annual celebration “dedicated to encouraging and celebrating men and women who are making life beautiful.”  

In that spirit, we give particular thanks for the many essential workers who have made life more beautiful with their service and sacrifice. They’ve risked their health and have been forced to spend time away from families. They’ve shown up and done the “jobs that needed doing.” They’re often underpaid and far, far too frequently, underappreciated.  

So today, we say thank you.  

We express the gratitude due sanitation workers who’ve been keeping our streets clean and our recycling bins emptied. We say thank you to the members of the USPS and other delivery services who have kept those of us sheltering in place stocked with life’s necessities and some treats too.  

We celebrate the beauty and security created by overwhelmed civil servants processing unemployment payments and grocery store employees helping feed our families with smiles behind hot masks and plexiglass shields.  

We acknowledge the nursing assistants and phlebotomists and respiratory therapists. We applaud the teachers running online learning in between sessions of teaching their own children.  

The term “heroes” is getting a workout these days – and it’s well deserved. (We’ll celebrate Nursing Assistants’ week later this month.) But to the heroes listed above – and the many others helping make life beautiful in small ways and large – we say thank you.