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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release May 25, 1993




This year marks the 30th anniversary of Older Americans Month -- a time when we, as a Nation, honor our elder citizens and recognize the many contributions they have made to our country.

Older Americans, having witnessed many of our Nation's historic milestones, are embodiments of 20th century American history. Many lived through the trying times of the Great War, the Depression, and the Second World War. With younger generations, older Americans shared the anguish of the Cold War and helped their more youthful countrymen get through this difficult period.

Older Americans provide us with the experience, knowledge, and leadership that are needed to help our Nation ply the difficult waters of the present. Through their experience with adversity, older Americans understand the critical need for shared sacrifice in meeting the challenges we face. Their wisdom provides us with a valuable perspective on how we must reorient our society toward investment in the future. Working in a variety of roles, as volunteers and employees, millions of older Americans continue to give their communities the fruits of their labor.

Today's older Americans are the best educated, most well-informed generation of elders our Nation has ever produced. The challenges they have met -- and met successfully -- have enabled them to make a continuing contribution with wisdom and understanding. We can see this not only in our families, as a new wave of responsible grandparenting helps ensure the future of our children, but also in our communities, which benefit from the experience and leadership of older Americans who volunteer their talent and time in fields ranging from business management to the arts.

While we salute the continuing contribution of older Americans, we also acknowledge our debt and responsibility to them. We renew our commitment to preserving for them the quality of life they deserve. We will safeguard their economic security not only through preserving the Social Security system but also by strengthening our Nation's overall economic performance. We will provide the leadership that will help our elders remain independent members of the community for as long as possible. We will supply that help in the neighborhoods where they live -- through the kinds of social and supportive services made possible through the Older Americans Act and other programs. And we can help ease the suffering and worry caused by increased medical expenses through enacting a national program of health care reform.




By helping to preserve the security and independence of older Americans, we are also ensuring that our own futures will be ones of dignity with independence.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM J. CLINTON, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim the month of May 1993 as Older Americans Month. I call upon the people of the United States to observe this month with appropriate ceremonies and activities in honor of our Nation's senior citizens.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-fifth day of May, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and seventeenth.


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