Any man can become a father, the age-old saying goes, but it takes a real man to be a dad. Sunday will honor those who go the extra mile to be tough and fair, kind and loving. Sunday will honor the ones who stuck around during the tough times — and every father knows there are tough times. Sunday will honor the sacrifices of doing whatever it takes.

We salute each and every one of you.

There are those, however, who chose to walk away. They chose to slide away from the responsibility of raising the child they were instrumental in creating. Those men are fathers by nature, but far from dads. Men are a dime a dozen, but good fathers are priceless.

Good dads can be stern, and giving, but always loving. Good dads will teach life lessons. They will teach their children to throw a ball. They’ll teach them about life and the obstacles thrown in the way. They will be the kind of person children will look up to and admire. They will teach them to be tough and learn to bounce back when the kids are down. They will teach responsibility so that when the youngster becomes the dad, he will be able to deliver those life lessons to his children.

Father’s Day was first celebrated in 1910. Much of the credit for Father’s Day is given to Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Wash. Her father, a Civil War veteran, raised six children on his own after his wife died. Dodd is said to have gotten the idea while listening to a sermon on Mother’s Day. The first Father’s Day was celebrated 109 years ago.

It took 14 years for then-President Calvin Coolidge to give his support, and another 42 before Lyndon Johnson proclaimed it a national holiday in 1966. Observance on the third Sunday in June became law in 1972.

Now, kids, on Sunday, you have a great responsibility. Let dad sleep a little late, maybe coordinate breakfast for him. Trust us, if the kids make breakfast, no matter how bad it might taste, Dad will enjoy it. Treat dad to gifts of ugly ties and cheap cologne. Again, trust us, Dad will nod and smile. Include a hug and a thank you to your dad today. 

It’s easy to create a life and walk away shirking all responsibilities. The difficult part is sticking around, through the good and bad, and transforming children into productive adults.

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