When a friend of mine asked me if knew Feb. 4 was "Thank a Mailperson Day," I had to admit I had never heard of it — although it sounds like a wonderful idea to me. Then again I didn’t know "National Stuffed Mushroom Day" and "Create a Vacuum Day" were celebrated on Feb. 4 either, but that’s another story for a different website.
Doing a little research on this celebratory day for the men and women who travel through cities, suburbs and the countryside delivering mail, I discovered one of the suggested ways to remember your carrier — send them an e-mail. All good intentions aside, this doesn’t really seem appropriate to me.
A better fit might be a friendly wave and a hearty thank you to the carriers you see — and not just on Feb. 4. After all, who else visits your neighborhood more often than your neighbors?
In all kinds of weather and in all kinds of situations, like clockwork, there they are bringing us packages, magazines, catalogs, bills and greetings.
Although the Postal Service has no official motto, the unofficial motto is: Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.
Commonly misidentified as the creed of mail carriers, it’s actually the inscription found on the General Post Office in New York City at 8th Avenue and 33rd Street.
The inscription was supplied by William Mitchell Kendall of McKim, Mead & White — the architectural firm that designed the Post Office. Kendall said the sentence appears in the works of Herodotus and describes the expedition of the Greeks against the Persians under Cyrus, about 500 B.C.
The Persians operated a system of mounted postal couriers, and the sentence describes the dependability with which their work was done.
So, whether you get your mail in a Chicago high-rise or in a rural mailbox alonga country road in Ohio — remember to say thanks once in awhile to your carrier out there 12 months a year.