Older Americans continue to be one of our country's most neglected resources. Too often they become strangers in their own community, shut off from useful activity by the chronological bar of age.
Throughout my life I have been impressed again and again by the elderly who defied this artificial barrier and made significant contributions to their community and their country.
In the Peace Corps, some of the most useful volunteers serving in some of the most difficult assignments were in their sixties, seventies and even a few in their eighties. In the War on Poverty, elderly Americans in the Foster Grandparent Program brought their unique qualities of love and affection to thousands of children giving new meaning to their own lives as well as to the children.
The Little Brothers of the Poor long have recognized these precious qualities in our older citizens. Because of their encouragement, the elderly have received that hope and that sense of purpose which creates present happiness and usefulness alongside memories of the past.
I congratulate the Little Brothers of the Poor on ten years of community service and hope that many more Chicagoans will aid and support their efforts in the decade to come.