While fatherhood is a vocation as old as time, the institution of Father’s Day is relatively recent. The nation’s first statewide Father’s Day was celebrated in Washington State on June 19, 1910 and slowly the holiday gained traction.
In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge said that he supported it, as he believed it would encourage closer relationships between fathers and their children. 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers, designating the third Sunday in June as Father's Day. Six years later, the day was made a permanent national holiday when President Richard Nixon signed it into law in 1972.
This national holiday, while less than 50 years old, expresses a sentiment that extends countless generations. Fathers are, and always have been, unique and irreplaceable in our lives. In turn, so is the place of family in a father’s life. As a father of two daughters myself, I know that living up to the name “dad” is as rewarding as it is challenging.
Being a father requires self-sacrifice, guidance, and willingness to learn all at the same time. It requires maintaining principle while practicing flexibility, and being a source of strength as well as compassion. The virtues we acquire to be there for our families are gifts that we should be grateful for, because without our families we would not be the same.
All families have their good times and bad, but this Father's Day I hope that all families will remember how lucky we are to have fathers and father figures in our lives. I also hope that fathers will remember what a blessing family life is.
Whether you take a couple of hours to spend time with dad, or you take a couple of minutes to give him a call, any time that you take to speak to him will be cherished. While dads may come with different parenting styles and perspectives, we all love our children just as much.