As they say, “Every day is kids’ day!” So, it seems only fair, after we’ve raised those kids and worked hard to make the world a better place for the generations that follow us, that one day of the year should be devoted to us. That day is August 21st.
Before you start thinking, “Oh, this is just another one of those “novelty” holidays like Houseplant Appreciation Day or National Ice Cream Day, let us explain how the day came to be. Some people celebrate seniors on August 14th because that was the day that President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act in 1935. However, decades later in 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed a proclamation declaring August 21st as National Senior Citizens Day. It was deemed to be a day of recognition of seniors’ achievements, while continuously striving to ensure that the older generation has the support they need in our communities.
“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 — places in which older people can participate to the fullest and can find the encouragement, acceptance, assistance, and services they need to continue to lead lives of independence and dignity,” Reagan is quoted as saying.
On this day, people across the country will take senior relatives out to dinner, volunteer at senior living communities, and even engage in projects like collecting Grandma’s favorite recipes to pass down to the grandkids or recording their life stories on StoryCorps. And some retailers will even be joining in the celebration by offering special discounts and promotions to seniors, simply by virtue of the date on their driver’s license.
If you’re a senior, live it up! This is your day. If you’re not a senior, honor your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and neighbors or do something as simple as wishing the senior at the grocery store checkout to “have a nice day!”