Message on the Observance of Grandparents Day, 1986

 

September 5, 1986

 

One of the healthiest and most encouraging signs of our times is a deep appreciation of the family, a keen realization that the family is the best school of good manners and good behavior, our most versatile support system, and our most efficient economic unit. As part of that insight, Americans have reached a deeper appreciation too of the role of grandparents, of the sense of security and permanence and love that grandparents convey to their grandchildren -- and even to children unrelated by blood. Of course grandparents everywhere will tell you how much richer their lives are because of their grandchildren. Some even say that happiness is being a grandparent!

 

Grandparents have a vital role to play too in the encouragement they give to a warm and stable family life. Their experience is of immeasurable value to young married couples setting out on the long and often difficult journey of parenthood.

 

Grandparents are the backbone of voluntarism and charity in American society. There are no more dedicated or productive workers in the voluntary sector than older citizens who can dedicate themselves almost entirely to their family, their neighbors, and their community.

 

In recognition of the irreplaceable role of grandparents in families and in the broader society, Congress has proclaimed the first Sunday after Labor Day as National Grandparents Day. Nancy joins me in exhorting all Americans to give special honor to grandparents on that Sunday, September 7.

 

Ronald Reagan