By Ridhi Suri
Today is Father’s Day but not everyone can be a Father!
It takes a special man to be FATHER! They stand through thick and thin, they are the constant support, Yes! they are Fathers.
The importance of a father can never be neglected as he is a superhero, who is always ready to take on everyday problems, tensions and troubles of his children. To honour the spirit of all such fathers and to celebrate the unconditional paternal bonding, a special day is observed every year as Father’s Day to commemorate the efforts and contributions of fathers in the society, this year, its being celebrated on June 16 (Sunday) in India.
This day falls on every third Sunday of June.
The day was celebrated as the feast day of Saint Joseph, who is known as the fatherly Nutritor Domini or the “Nourisher of the Lord” in the Catholic Community and is “the putative father of Jesus” in the southern European tradition.
The Catholic Church community actively backed the tradition of celebrating Fatherhood on St Joseph’s day.
Daughter of American Civil War veteran William Jackson Smart, Sonora Smart Dodd, was responsible for the founding of Father’s Day. She persuaded the Spokane Ministerial Alliance and the local YMCA to observe this new “day. The ministers settle on a date of June 19, 1910, as the nation’s first Father’s Day, and they deliver sermons all around city about the importance and obligations of fatherhood.
She had excellent reasons for being sensitive to the status of fathers. In 1898, while she was growing up on a dry-land ranch between Wilbur and Creston, her mother died. Sonora was only 16; she had five younger brothers. Her father, William Jackson, dedicated himself to rearing all six children. She said he was “a very strict man, a real disciplinarian,” but also a “kind and loving parent who kept us together and happy”.
So she drafted a petition declaring a certain Sunday in June as Father’s Day. This was during an era when mothers were considered the child-raisers and fathers were considered aloof at best and derelict at worse.
She finally convinced Mark H Wheeler and George A Forbes of the local YMCA to co-sign her petition. They went to the Spokane Ministerial Alliance and proposed that the first Father’s Day be celebrated on June 5, 1910, her father’s birthday (he was still alive), but the ministers needed more time to prepare their sermons. So the first written record of the Father’s Day concept comes in a Spokane Daily Chronicle front page story on June 6, 1910, noting that the Spokane Ministerial Alliance and YMCA had “enthusiastically” endorsed Mrs Dodd’s proposition and agreed to declare Father’s Day on June 19.
“Preachers across the city delivered Father’s Day sermons. People wore roses to church in honor of their fathers. Children gave fathers small gifts. Local businesses took out newspaper ads with Father’s Day themes.” And that’s how the Father day celebrations started.
Not just Sonora Smart Dodd wanted to celebrate Father’s Day but Grace Golden Clayton too wanted the establishment of Father’s Day for those children, who had lost their fathers in a mine explosion. This mishappening took the lives of around 360 men in the town. She wanted that there should be a day for the children to honour and remember their fathers.
Hence the first Father’s Day was recognised in West Virginia, while a church service was going on at Williams Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church South. Grace Golden Clayton, who reportedly suggested the service to the pastor at Williams Memorial, is said to have been inspired to celebrate fathers post a mine explosion, a few months before, in the nearby community of Monongah.
Father’s are the support system of the family. They are the pillars of security and confidence. Father’s are the backbone of the family, from managing the demands of their children to help bring out the best in them, they play a major role in the life of the children. This day celebrates the male parenting and their numerous sacrifices. Father’s love has no boundaries and it gives immense strength to their children.
The Father’s Day is celebrated across the world with the objective of honouring the contribution of fathers in the society. It is a day which celebrates the fatherhood, paternal bonds and their efforts towards the family and society.
The day is meant to recall, recognise and remember the endless sacrifies, initiatives and contributions of all the fathers. (UNI)