Inside Story

By Barnes, Sybil Walker | Policy & Practice of Public Human Services, December 2001 | Go to article overview

Inside Story


Barnes, Sybil Walker, Policy & Practice of Public Human Services


The winter holidays are here, and most of us can expect to spend extra time with our families, hear from those we haven't seen in a while, and perhaps eat a little more than we should.

It's a time of year when we are reminded of where we come from and the people who were there to help us when we started. We eat meals with relatives we may never see during the rest of the year.

More than ever before, this holiday season will certainly take on a new significance that most of us have never experienced. Our country is at war this holiday season, and some of us may still be grieving the loss of family or friends in the terrorist attacks of September 11.

For Americans, war is something that used to be "over there." Now it's over here; not in trenches but in skyscrapers, mail rooms, and uneasy minds.

In this war, everyday life hasn't called for victory gardens, rationing, or war bonds. Instead, the government has asked Americans to fight terrorism by getting on with their lives. Continue flying, continue sending mail, continue spending.

In this new era of "normalcy," I suggest we celebrate life this holiday season. Our celebrations don't have to cost a lot of money or be elaborate. Our biggest celebrations are oftentimes the most personal ones we spend with people we love. Whether you're eager for Christmas, planning for Hanukkah, or carrying out the seven principles of Kwanzaa with your children, this holiday season can be a time to reflect with family and friends.

As we look back on the year, there is much APHSA can celebrate: the popularity of our publication, Crossroads: New Directions in Social Policy, which was presented to the Bush Administration and Congress, our continuing guidance to public child welfare administrators, and the creation of the new Center for Workers with Disabilities, just to name a few.

POLICY & PRACTICE is especially pleased to end the year with features from two federal government officials in Washington, D.C., Tommy G. Thompson of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Eric M. Bost of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In our cover feature, Secretary Thompson shares his views on a variety of issues within the public human services. …

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