Seniors can celebrate their lasting legacy

‘Senior Living’ by Carl Hendrickson

By Carl Hendrickson

It will arrive quietly with no parades, no fireworks and no speeches, but Aug. 21 is National Senior Citizens Day.

As I sit in my office at my computer, I wonder whether we — you and I, the senior citizens of our community — deserve a national day of recognition.

What legacy are we leaving for our children and grandchildren?

It is easy to see what legacy my father and mother left for their children. They, along with others in their generation, had great obstacles to overcome.

This was the time of the Great Depression and a worldwide conflict, World War II, a time of sacrifice.

During the Depression, jobs were scarce and meals were missed. Marriages were postponed. Homes were not built.

The war was more terrifying. Many lived in daily fear of the dreaded news from the War Department or a military officer that a husband, father or son would not be returning.

Yes, it is easy to see the legacy that my parents’ generation left for their children and their grandchildren. They sacrificed and they were heroic. They overcame a worldwide depression and dictators who sought to rule the world.

What is the legacy of our generation?

What are we senior citizens leaving for our children and grandchildren?

Seniors, our generation did not have to survive a depression or a world war. But we have been faced with the deterioration of the family unit and the destruction of a societal value system.

We hear from the radio, we see from the television, we read on the front page of the newspaper of violence, corruption and breach of the public trust. The values of love, honesty and integrity — the linchpins of society — are deteriorating.

Fortunately, I and the senior citizens I know — and I believe it is true of you — are builders. Not builders of material goods. Our building has been in the home.

We have taught our children of love, of respect for others, of the difference between right and wrong.

They have learned the value of honesty and integrity.

We have preserved the home and taught love, honesty and integrity to our children and to our grandchildren. That is our lasting legacy.

So seniors, celebrate on Aug. 21!