Proclamation 5058 -- Older Americans Month, 1983

May 6, 1983

By the President of the United States

of America

A Proclamation

Throughout our history, the American people have held a special place in their hearts for our older citizens.

From this Nation's earliest days, when the wisdom and eloquence of our elder statesmen played such an important role in the creation of our Republic, to this era of renewed private sector initiative, where so many of our senior citizens toil in volunteer armies of community service across the land, older Americans remain a vital force in our national life.

We recognize that no single group in our society has done more to build America and to shape our national character than our nearly thirty-three million older citizens. We treasure their continuing involvement and the unique understanding they bring to us. Their wisdom, experience, insights, and accomplishments merit an invaluable place in our culture and economy.

Through hard work and creativity, our older Americans have made enormous contributions throughout their lives to preserve our way of life and our standard of living.

Now we must keep faith with them.

It is our responsibility to protect them by reducing inflation -- that monster which eats at savings and pensions and destroys the independence and well-being of our older Americans.

Of particular importance to our older citizens is the integrity of their pension funds. The recent rise in business confidence and the resulting surge in the net worth of investments have significantly increased the value of America's pension funds. These developments remind us that the most important step we can take for all Americans, but especially our senior citizens, is to follow economic policies that will create noninflationary growth.

It is also our responsibility to keep faith with our older citizens by guaranteeing a secure and stable social security system so they might live in dignity. The recent amendments to the Social Security Act assure the elderly that America will always uphold the promises made in troubled times a half-century ago.

The future of our older Americans should be as sweet as the memories of their youth. I believe the future for our older citizens holds as much promise as the achievements of their past. In this twenty-first annual observance of Older Americans Month, we celebrate that potential.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the month of May 1983 as Older Americans Month. I ask public officials at all levels, community agencies, educators, the clergy, the communications media, and the American people to take this opportunity to honor older Americans and to consider how we may make it possible for them to enjoy their later years.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this sixth day of May, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and seventh.

Ronald Reagan

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 2:29 p.m., May 10, 1983]