Despite the seemingly singular focus on tragedy this September 11, the White House found another purpose for the day: recognizing the importance of grandparents.
Quietly on Friday, President Barack Obama declared September 11, 2011 National Grandparents Day.
“NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim September 11, 2011, as National Grandparents Day,” Obama officially declared. “I call upon all Americans to take the time to honor their own grandparents and those in their community.” (RELATED: Watch ‘Changing America: Reflections on September 11, 2001)
The first Sunday after Labor Day has been designated a secular holiday to recognize the contribution of grandparents since then-President Jimmy Carter signed the first declaration in 1978. Presidents since 1978 have followed in Carter’s footsteps, ensuring that that Sunday is reserved for grandparent appreciation.
“The support of loved ones provides the earliest and often most powerful influence on our lives. Grandparents hold a special place in our families, serving as elders, caregivers, and sources of lasting inspiration,” Obama said in a statement. “On National Grandparents Day, we honor the loving presence of these mentors who have contributed immeasurably to the strength of our families and our Nation.”
To be sure, Obama did not forget the significance of the date on which Grandparents Day happened to fall. On Friday Obama also declared September 11 a National Day of Prayer and Remembrance as well as Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance.