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anne_mikolay_120The third Sunday in June is reserved for paying tribute to fathers, but exactly how did this holiday originate?

,In 1909, a young woman by the name of Sonora Smart Dodd heard a Mother's Day sermon at her church in Spokane, Washington, and realized no day had been reserved to honor fathers as special as her own. After her mother died when Sonora was quite young, Sonora's father selflessly reared Sonora and her five siblings, and even though he was a single parent, he served in the Civil War. Sonora felt strongly that fathers should be honored and presented her concerns to her minister; the following year, the very first Father's Day service took place in Sonora's church on June 19th. Parishioners wore red roses in honor of their fathers or white roses to pay tribute to fathers who were deceased. In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge designated the third Sunday in June for the national recognition of fathers. President Richard Nixon signed the date into public law in 1972, and there has been a run on ties and Craftsman tools every June since.

When I was a kid, I handmade Father's Day gifts. I loved crafting cards of construction paper and glitter and proudly presenting my masterpieces to my Dad. It was then that I developed my love of art and drawing. Through many walks with Dad to the creek, I discovered my love of nature. He and I fed the squirrels peanuts together in the park; we sat on the rocks by the lake and dipped our toes in the cool water. Because of Dad, I love chocolate; every pay day, he came home with chocolate chip cookies and candy kisses. Every birthday, he brought me a chocolate layer cake from the bakery. Every Valentines Day, he gave my sister and I a heart-shaped box of candy. Dad taught me to love Christmas. Each December, we toured the neighborhood to admire the displays of lights and decorations, and every Christmas morning without fail, Santa left a new stuffed animal beneath the tree for me. I adore animals because of Dad. I could write endlessly about the blissful childhood my Dad created for me; my sister and I know how lucky we were.

Like Sonora Smart Dodd's father, my Dad made untold sacrifices for his children. He worked two jobs to save enough money to move his family from an apartment into a colonial house, and to send his daughters to the best private school he could find. My sister and I knew we could count on our Dad to be there for us when we needed him. He enjoyed evenings at home with the family as much as we did. To our Dad, my mother, my sister, and I came first above all else. He dedicated his entire adult life to us. Yes, indeed, I am the person I am today because of my Father. To me, he is remarkable.

Dad, I love and adore you. I pray for you each and every day. By choosing you to be my father, God richly blessed me.

This Father's Day, whether you wear a red rose or a white rose, thank the good Lord above for the gift of your father.