For many years, the Herald Democrat has listed area resident’s birthdays on the front page of the paper. As someone who takes birthday calls, letters and emails, I know that to the people who submit the names, this section is very important.


I remember as a child, seeing my name in the paper was a birthday surprise — though it was not that surprising — that I always looked forward to.


I have to admit though that the newspaper always had a special place in my heart, and simply seeing my name in the paper was a testament to my plans for later in life.


When it comes to birthdays, the names sometimes just seem like a list. But, the truth is there is rarely a day when we do not have a list of people to tell happy birthday.


One, two, four or six, there is someone whose birthday is today and someone who will be looking to find their birthday below this column. Sometimes, those individuals are five years old like I was at one time. Sometimes, those individuals are 85. Sometimes, the listing is one of the simple ways a husband is telling his wife that he remembered.


And, sometimes, those names belong to friends and family members who live far off. Sometimes, simply seeing those names reminds individuals of memories from times with their favorite person. Sometimes, simply having that list brightens people’s day.


Even as simple as it is, that birthday list makes an impact on someone.