Jerry Burnaman

Father’s Day as a national holiday is a recent development.  Mrs. John Bruce Dodd of Spokane, Washington, began promoting Father’s Day, and had a celebration in the YMCA building in 1910.  The idea was to complement Mother’s Day.  By 1936 the custom had spread to many parts of the United States and Canada.

However, it was not until 1966 that President Lyndon Johnson used the first Presidential Proclamation honoring fathers, designating the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day.  Six years later in 1972, President Richard Nixon signed it into law, and made it a permanent national holiday.

On Father’s Day sons and daughters express gratitude and appreciation to their fathers by giving presents and greeting cards.  Perhaps a simple “I love you dad,” would be the best gift of all.

We are reminded to pay tribute to those who sacrificed so much in order that we may enjoy today’s blessings.  To all our fathers we say, “Thank you!”

Thank you for teaching us a good work ethic.  Those who grew up on the farm remember the early morning chores before we caught the school bus, and the chores waiting for us after school.

I’m not referring to chores like carrying out a little trash or mowing a small lot, but back breaking work: cutting wood, milking the cow, and throwing hay with a pitchfork.  We learned that work is honorable.

Thank you for teaching us honesty.  What’s happened to the slogan: “Honesty is the best policy!”  When the clerk at the department store gave us too much money, dad made us give it back, with the reminder to always be honest.  Now when the clerk gives the wrong change and you give it back, it’s a shock.

Thank you for teaching us optimism.  For the most part, our fathers looked on the bright side of life.  They believed by working hard, begin honest, and treating your neighbors like you wanted to be treated, things would turn out good in the long run.  Come to think of it, these basic values are still worth applying to our children and grandchildren.

The Bible gives us instructions concerning parents and children.  “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.  Honor you father and mother, which is the first commandment with promise.  That it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.  And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:1-4).

These principles give us strength for living to inspire our communities and nation to build the future on a solid foundation.

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