They are the ones who raised our parents, and taught them how to raise us. They spoil us silly, can be our best friends, biggest teachers and closest confidants, and offer the sagest of advise in times of dire need. And although we may tend to give them lesser attention than we want to, we are always welcome to them.
These, ladies and gentlemen, are our grandparents, and this year, it's time to thank them back for whatever roles they have played in our lives on Grandparents Day. Primarily observed in the United States as National Grandparents Day, where it has been celebrated for years, it is usually observed on the first Sunday after Labour Day in September, which itself falls on the first Monday of September.
This special day, which falls on Sept. 11 this year, has jumped national boundaries and is now observed all over world as a mark of gratitude and love towards grandmas and grandpas all across the globe.
It had started with the efforts of a West Virginia politician named Marian McQuade, who wanted youngsters to know, acknowledge and celebrate the contributions the elderly -- typically grandparents -- have made to society. To that end, her state's governor proclaimed a holiday for Grandparents Day in West Virginia in the 1970s.
When a proposal to make this a national holiday was not passed by the U.S. Senate, McQuade urged all the states to individually declare it a holiday. Her petition elicited swift and overwhelming response, as 43 states joined the legions of West Virginia to declare Grandparents Day a holiday.
Eventually, a bill was introduced in the U.S. Congress in 1977 to mark a holiday on what would come to be known as "National Grandparents Day," and was signed into a law by then President Jimmy Carter in 1978.
The day has since been marked in the U.S. with people visiting their grandparents bearing gifts, wishes and love in their hearts.