President John F. Kennedy established Senior Citizens Month in 1963 (though it would later be renamed). This was two years after the first White House Council on Aging, and two years before the passage of the Older Americans Act. Clearly, the United States was just beginning to realize the importance of a great resource: its senior population.
Older Americans have a lifetime of knowledge and understanding, and many of them use those resources to serve their communities. They volunteer at your local schools, soup kitchens, and senior centers. They run beneficial activities and programs. As JFK said in his proclamation, older Americans represent “a great national resource of skills, wisdom, and experience upon which much of our Nation’s progress has been built and which continues to enrich our daily lives.”
To recognize these valuable contributions, the Department of Aging will share the stories of real people throughout the month of May. These are the faces of your hometown. You may see them in the grocery store or walking on Main Street, but you might not know the immeasurable impact they have on your community. They are older Pennsylvanians who blaze a trail.