"For all they have achieved throughout life and for all they continue to accomplish, we owe older citizens our thanks and a heartfelt salute. We can best demonstrate our gratitude and esteem by making sure that our communities are good places in which to mature and grow older."
Those words belonged to President Ronald Reagan and taken from a 1988 proclamation declaring Aug. 21 as National Senior Citizens Day.
Of course, President Reagan certainly had some first-hand knowledge. He led a full and productive life highlighted by two terms in the White House. He was 69 years, 11 months and 14 days old when taking office in January 1981. The made him the oldest person ever to serve our nation's highest office. He was 73 when re-elected and 77 when he left office, even surviving an assassination attempt. He died at 93 from pneumonia related to a 10-year struggle with Alzheimer's disease. He left an imposing legacy. As has so many who led full and productive lives.
Let this piece serve as a heads-up to all of our readers heading into next Tuesday. Surely each and everyone of us has been positively impacted by a senior citizen, whether it was a parent, grandparent, other family member, a co-worker or friend. There are many of us who have blessed many times over by having loving, caring and generous senior citizens in our lives. They vividly have showed us how to behave and treat others as our own aging process runs its course.
For all they have done, senior citizens should be acknowledged and appreciated each and every single day of the year. But - maybe pure human nature is to blame as we all get caught up in our daily routines - that doesn't always happen. That's what makes this approaching Tuesday so important. We encourage you to demonstrate your gratitude toward a senior citizen. It shouldn't take much but it will mean so much. Just pay a visit and spend some time with a senior. Maybe offer up a ride or, even better, a ride and meal. Volunteer for a day in support of the elderly.
You get it. Now do it. And for all the senior citizens reading this, to those who raised good and solid children and helped with grandchildren; to the veterans who proudly served long ago and now sit and remember youthful days; to the seniors who have outlived loved ones but can still stave off loneliness and welcome morning's light while accepting the cycle of life; thank you very much. That goes for all senior citizens. May next Tuesday be a good day for you. May each and every day be a good day for you. You are special. You deserve it.