Friday, June 13, 2008

Father’s Day, Some Facts & What It Meant to Be

There are so many stories behind the celebration of Father’s Day. It might be a meaning of a devoted father – especially our own, his parental sacrifice and selflessness, the courage of a loving man, a widower, a single parent raising his six children, an ideal-dedicated father, a war-hero or veteran, a real public servant-politician, or maybe the next president, who is always seeking that his family is flourishing. Yet all those historical narratives, where Father’s Day began were all pointing and linking to the celebration of Mother’s Day. Undeniably, such special day for fathers, all started and the reveling of it become so popular, because of that special day for mothers.

In reality, this is not only in honor and praise for fathers. It might be as well for grandfathers or great-grandfathers, brothers, and uncles, our son, son-in-law, grandson, or great-grandson who in one way or another has been someone special for us in a certain period or stage of our life. He might be also our neighbor, a friend, a colleague, a job superior, and the like, you can name it as you want, whom we think and feel deserves special greetings and well meant special wishes, in this observance of Father’s Day.

In one definitive conclusion, this is a day in honor for everybody as an appreciation of being a child, regardless of gender. It is a celebration and reminiscence that we’re once a child! It is for everybody without distinction! It is for a simple reason that we would not be hailed out of this world without our fathers, even to the most rarely-extreme medical reproduction of test tube babies. Thus, it should not be taken aside; this has also a parallel connotation of honoring the Mother’s Day, which is celebrated first and foremost.

Father’s Day are commemorated, religious and secular, on various different dates all around the world. It so happened, most countries marked it on the 3rd Sunday of June. Modern cultures are doing it from simple greetings, gifts or presents to excessive and over-indulging festivities and drinking, particularly if it falls with another birthday, anniversary, family occasions or festivities, since this is alongside summertime in the northern hemisphere characterized with outdoor barbecues and grills beside pools, lakeside, riverside and seashores.

In the United States, Dad’s day was first been celebrated on the 19th of June 1908 in the State of Washington through the efforts of Mrs. Sonora Smart Dodd as inspired by Mother’s Day, which was initiated by Anna Jarvis. It was in 1924 that President Calvin Coolidge supported this idea. It become officially proclaimed and declared by President Lyndon B. Johnson on the 3rd Sunday of June and finally signed into law by President Richard S. Nixon, permanently become a National Day for Fathers.

It comes to the author’s absurd idea, is it practical wherein both mother and father are being honored, in just one day, not separate days as what we're doing now? What about a single National Day of Fathers and Mothers? For lesser expenses and by the virtue of frugality, could we make it joined in one day particularly in these times of economic turmoil? Or perhaps, would it be appropriate, a National Parent’s Day?

Only a Dad
Edgar Albert Guest

Only a dad with a tired face,
Coming home from a daily race,
Bringing little of gold or fame
To show how well he has played the game;
But glad in his heart that his own rejoice
To see him come and to hear his voice.

Only a dad with brood of four,
One of ten million men or more
Plodding along in the daily strife,
Bearing the whips and the scorns of life,
With never a whimper of pain or hate,
For the sake of those who at home await.

Only a dad neither rich nor proud,
Merely one of the surging crowd,
Toiling, striving from day to day,
Facing whatever may come his way,
Silent whenever the harsh condemn,
And bearing it all for the love of them.

Only a dad but he gives his all,
To smooth the way for his children small,
Doing with courage stern and grim
The deeds that his father did for him.
This is the line that for him I pen;
Only a dad, but the best of men.


(From: The Book of Virtues, A Treasury of Great Moral Stories
Edited with Commentary by Willaim J. Bennett)


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