Message on the Observance of Grandparents Day, 1985

September 6, 1985

From the earliest days of our Republic the most important institution in American life has been the family. The bonds and values nurtured in the loving atmosphere of the family sustain and uplift us as a people. Although it is not often recognized, grandparents play a critical role in family life.

Grandparents give their grandchildren gifts no one else can give. From them grandchildren learn of times long before their own and of the values that can sustain one through the changes and challenges of a long, full life. Children can see in their grandparents the continuity of family life through the generations. Grandparents give to their grandchildren the same love and counsel, enriched by long experiences they gave to their own children a generation earlier.

The grandparent-grandchild relationship brings together the wisdom of maturity and the curiosity of youth in a special loving way. Many grandparents bring their special wisdom and love to the broader community in the many volunteer efforts of which we Americans are rightly proud. Such sharing deserves great praise, because it enriches the whole of society with the same loving generosity that binds our families together.

In recognition of the important role of grandparents in our families and communities, Congress has proclaimed the first Sunday after Labor Day as National Grandparents Day. Nancy joins me in urging all Americans to take time to honor their grandparents on September 8.

Ronald Reagan