In Tony Dungy’s book, Quiet Strength, he says that at the beginning of every year, he gives his players 5 ways to get into the headlines: Stay out late; Excessive drinking; Drugs; Being too friendly with women you don’t know or know too well; Going 50 miles per hour over the speed limit.
If you want to get in the news, you have to do something out of the ordinary, not normal.
Because of this, all too often, we forget the real heroes of everyday life. President Bush, in a proclamation he made on the 12 of June reminded all Americans of the need to pay tribute to these real heroes who are changing society from within.
“Fathers play a unique and irreplaceable part in the lives of their children and pass along values that help children grow into responsible adults. By providing their sons and daughters with a positive example, fathers help give their children the necessary foundation they need to make wise decisions throughout their lives. Fathers strive to inspire their children to lead lives of integrity, honor, and purpose, and they pray for wisdom and the strength to give their children the love and support they need to achieve their dreams.” (President George W. Bush, Father’s Day Proclamation, June 12, 2008, from the White House)
Sonora Dodd is the girl we have to thank for this great day in which we celebrate our dads. She lived in Spokane, Washington. In her family, there were six children. Her father was a civil war veteran. Her mother passed away while giving birth to the 6th child.
Not wanting to get married again, and refusing to send the kids off to different schools, Mr. Dodd got to work on the task of raising his children.
In 1909, as Sonora Dodd, then a young woman, was attending the Mother’s Day Church service, she found herself getting distracted constantly. Listening to the sermon, she kept thinking to herself, “Why don’t we also have a day to honor our dads? After all, in my case, I am where I am largely because of my dad.” Inspired by the example of Anna Jarvis and Julie Ward Howe, two influential figures in the establishment of Mother’s Day, Ms. Dodd set out to pay the same tribute to her father and to all great fathers like him.
It wasn’t that he did anything out of the ordinary. He simply did the ordinary in an extraordinary way.
The first celebration of Father’s day was on June 19, 1910, the birthday of Sonora’s father. It began as a local celebration and year by year expanded to other surrounding communities. In 1972, President Nixon would declare it as an official holiday.
Although Father’s Day comes and goes, may the spirit behind the holiday never go away: gratitude, love, honor and respect for the men who made us who we are today.
“Thank you, friend Jesus,
for my father who loves me,
for my grandfather who cares for me,
and for God, your father and mine,
who made me and is always with me.
How lucky I am!”
(A father’s day poem by Gaynell Bordes Cronin)
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