ART BY MARÍA CAMP

Celebrate fathers, father-figures in your life this Sunday, every day

Sunday is Father’s Day – a day when we remember that sharing time with our fathers and reflecting on how much they have done for us in our lives is crucially important.
 As recorded by history.com, the nation’s first Father’s Day was celebrated June 19, 1910, in the state of Washington.

It was not until 1972 – 58 years after President Woodrow Wilson made Mother’s Day official – that the day honoring fathers became a nationwide holiday in the United States. According to almanac.com, President Richard Nixon’s administration declared the third Sunday in June a day to recognize and honor the role of fathers in society.

In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson had signed an executive order that the holiday be celebrated on the third Sunday in June.
 Credit for originating the holiday is generally given to Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Wash., whose father, a Civil War veteran, raised her and her five siblings after their mother died in childbirth, according to britannica.com.

She is said to have had the idea in 1909 while listening to a sermon on Mother’s Day, which at the time was becoming established as a holiday.
 Research abounds on how important a fatherly presence is to the growth and development of children, and to their overall well-being.

Time and again, the influence of a father or father-figure has been pinpointed as a crucial factor in a safe and secure home life and a child’s ability to have a healthy, wholesome upbringing. 
 We want to salute the fathers of Franklin County who are having such an impact on our community by raising the children who will one day be its leaders.

Though the influence of mothers is not and cannot be ignored, it is very fitting that we set aside the special time to celebrate the fathers – and father-like mentors – in our lives. These are the men who are always there to listen, to guide, to correct, to encourage, to comfort, to teach and to support. 
 Take time today, or any day, to tell the father, grandfather, special uncle or other father-figure in your life what he means to you.

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