Honoring faithful fathers

Posted 6/21/22

Many families gathered together this past weekend to celebrate Father’s Day. The holiday can prove extremely challenging once your daddy has passed away.

Do you ever wonder how this special …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Honoring faithful fathers

Posted

Many families gathered together this past weekend to celebrate Father’s Day. The holiday can prove extremely challenging once your daddy has passed away.

Do you ever wonder how this special day of commemoration came to be?

While some speculate that it is just another Hallmark-incepted day to sell cards, it was President Lyndon B. Johnson who issued a proclamation to recognize patriarchs. It was in 1972, under the tutelage of President Richard M. Nixon, that officials actually passed legislation designating the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day.

I also found out that, in 1909, a lady by the name of Sonora Smart Dodd — who was a self-proclaimed Daddy’s girl — spearheaded this national acknowledgment.

Her dad, American Civil War veteran William Jackson Smart, solemnly nurtured his six kids — Sonora and her five brothers — after his beloved wife perished during childbirth. At age 27, Sonora went before her local, Spokane, Washington, Ministerial Alliance, urging its board to honor fathers equally as matriarchs on Mother’s Day.

Sonora had allegedly witnessed a service where Anna Jarvis (who founded Mother’s Day) was recognized. She then felt compelled to honor all father figures in similar manner.

For Sonora, some local religious leaders liked the notion of honoring those faithful men, celebrating Father’s Day for the first time June 19, 1910. This date was symbolic because June was the birth month of Mr. Smart.

Sonora reportedly delivered gifts to handicapped dads; boys from the YMCA decorated their lapels for church; and ministers dedicated their homilies to fatherhood. In the last 112 years, this annual commemoration has grown to magnificent proportions today.

I don’t think many churches follow this practice anymore, but when I was young, church congregants were presented one of two colors of roses. If your dad was still living, church elders would pin a red rose on your outfit or a white rose if your dad was deceased.

As millions of us Americans honored those father-like figures in our lives this past weekend, the U.S. Census predicted there are currently 2 million dads whose kids are under the age of 18. The Census also estimated that there are now some 204,000 fathers who have elected to become stay-at-home dads.

Spending for this past Sunday’s festivities was projected to topple $20 billion in sales, according to the National Retail Federation.

Hallmark released its 2022 projections that there were 72 million cards expected to be exchanged on Father’s Day. While I was scanning the card aisles for just the right sentiments for my husband, myself, I ran across quite a poignant message.

The sentiment was penned by Nishan Panera, a prolific, 25-year-old writer hailing from India. The message read, “A Dad is someone who holds you when you cry; scolds you when you break the rules; shines with pride when you succeed; and has faith in you even when you fail.”

For those reasons, I think Sonora was on the right track when she incepted this bittersweet holiday paying homage to all those faithful fathers.

Kim Lambert is a former reporter with The Daily Record and former editor of The Angier Independent.

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment