For most people, Sept. 11 brings memories of a horrific day four years ago. But this year, because it falls on the first Sunday after Labor Day, it is also a day for another sort of remembrance. That’s because Sept. 11 is also National Grandparents Day.
It makes the day a mixed blessing for grandparents such as Al Peskoff, 54, who says the first thing he will think about is the terrorist attacks, even though he plans to spend quality time with his 3-month-old grandson, Jaiden.
"Everyday is Grandparents Day for me because I get to spoil Jaiden everyday," says Peskoff, "and before celebrating, we have to remember 9/11."
Grandparents Day started in 1978 thanks to Marian Lucille Herndon McQuade and a small group of people who began campaigning to honor parents of parents.
"Her original objective was to call attention to the elderly and those in nursing homes that were being neglected and forgotten," says D.J. McQuade, one of McQuade’s 15 children who works with the National Grandparents Day Council.
"If your grandparent is in a nursing home, visit them. If they are gone, adopt one in a nursing home. And if they are alive, get together and preserve family memories," McQuade says.
Children can create a family tree or interview their grandparents to learn about their past. They can also make their own Grandparents Day card or draw a picture. Grandparents can relate information about ancestors and show photos of their younger days. McQuade says everyday should be Grandparents Day, but this is a day to remind everyone that they deserve recognition.
You can celebrate the day with these events:
• On Sept. 11, Morton Arboretum at Interstate 88 and Route 53 in Lisle, hosts Grandparents Discovery Day at 1 p.m. with a hike, snack, craft and story. This is for ages 3 to 6 with a grandparent. Call (630) 719-2468.
• On Sept. 10-11, the Chicago Children’s Museum, 700 E. Grand Ave. at Navy Pier hosts an event starting at 3 p.m. Children will get tip sheets on interviewing grandparents and they can also dress grandparents up in groovy clothes. A banner with grandparents’ special names or nicknames will also be made to post on a museum wall. Call (312) 527-1000.
• On Sept. 11, Brookfield Zoo, 8400 W. 31st St. in Brookfield, is having an all-you-can-eat Grandparents Day Brunch from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Call (708) 485-0263.