THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
YEAR OF THE GRANDPARENT, 1995
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
The American family has undergone dramatic changes in the past few decades. Families have felt the effects of a rising divorce rate, declining birth rate, and an increasingly fast-paced and complicated economy. At the same time, Americans are living longer, retiring younger, and taking advantage of more leisure hours than ever before. Today, approximately 60 million grandparents in the United States look forward to spending time with their families and to enjoying their much-deserved respite.
Despite the many changes, grandparents remain an important source of knowledge and stability in American families. Grandparents help us understand the past and encourage us to hope for the future. They preserve and strengthen the values we hold most dear -- compassion and generosity, responsibility and tradition. These relationships between generations have always been central to the happiness and well- being of young and old alike.
Households made up of several generations have increased by more than 50 percent in the past 25 years, and today, some 3.4 million children live in a household headed by a grandparent. For parents struggling with issues including substance abuse or teenage pregnancy, divorce or separation, grandparents can be invaluable resources of compassion. For children who are abused or neglected, grandparents can be lifesavers. All too often, grandparents embrace these tremendous responsibilities because no one else is able. But they also do so out of love, out of the wisdom that comes from a lifetime spent learning the importance of family. For all they teach us and for all they give, we pledge this year to honor grandparents everywhere.
The Congress, by Public Law 103-368, has designated 1995 as the "Year of the Grandparent" and has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this year.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM J. CLINTON, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim 1995 as the Year of the Grandparent. I invite Federal officials, local government, advocacy groups, and families across the United States to join in commemorating the many contributions that grandparents make and in observing this year with appropriate ceremonies, programs, and activities.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this seventeenth day of January, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-five, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and nineteenth.
WILLIAM J. CLINTON