Message on the Observance of Grandparents Day

September 8, 1984

Americans are showing a renewed attention today to the importance of strong families for raising the next generation of Americans. Families are the chief repository of our nation's values but, more than that, they are centers of love and affection, where each individual is accepted as a unique person, created in the image of God.

Grandparents play a crucial but often unrecognized role in the strength of America's families. They provide their grandchildren with a living sense of continuity with our past and so with the confidence to face an uncertain future. Grandparents provide love, instruction and adult authority to their grandchildren just as they once provided them to their own children. Sometimes grandparents live in the same home as their grandchildren and sometimes they live many miles away, but in either case they can and often do play a very important role in their grandchildren's development.

Some grandparents are retired and have the time and energy to devote themselves to the many volunteer efforts which distinguish our nation and contribute so greatly to the general welfare. In this way, they share their experience in life not only with their own families, but with many others as well. Those grandparents deserve a special word of thanks from all of us.

In recognition of the creative participation of grandparents in the lives of their families and of our nation, Congress has designated the first Sunday after Labor Day as National Grandparents Day. Nancy and I urge all Americans to set aside time to honor their grandparents on September 9.

Ronald Reagan