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OUR VIEW

OUR VIEW: Dads give us strength, direction

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Fathers aren't high on pop culture's popularity list right now.

Among our more recent phrases that we say and everyone immediately knows what you mean are such charmers as "dad joke" and "dad bod." An insurance company's ad campaign features a fictional doctor who helps people avoid the kinds of things that fathers do since becoming fathers, like offering unasked-for help and reading World War II histories.

Fathers won't apologize for the things they do that make them fathers. Because part of the father's job is to provide us with all of those things and one more. Dad can at some point embody everything we hope to avoid. But Dad also provides the example, the consistency and the strength needed to navigate through life's tough moments.

Let's remember that Sunday as we mark Father's Day.

Father's Day celebrates fatherhood and honors fathers, paternal bonds, and the influence of fathers and father figures in society.

As we move deeper into the 21st century, we realize our fathers come in different type, shapes and styles. The families baby boomers watched in television situation comedies may have never really existed. Even if they did, they're far less common now. Families and fatherhoods are defined by many different factors rather that just one. Our relationships with our fathers are as unique as we are from one another. For every loving father-son relationship about which we hear, there are inevitably others decidedly less than ideal. That's part of the reason we recognize father figures as well on this day. However independent any of us are or want to feel we are, we are better people when we have that adult influence we require.

The role that is assumed by a father or father figure is possibly as important as it's been in history. As much as life has turned easier since our fathers and father figures were children, today's youngsters face things their elders could never have imagined facing as kids. That stabilizing hand, the well-considered advice, and the simple wisdom fathers are able to provide to their children are vital to our society.

The tradition of Father's Day is believed to have been started in an attempt to comfort suddenly fatherless children. The first recognition came during a memorial service held after in excess of 360 men died in a 1907 mining accident in Monongah, W. Va., the worst mining disaster United States history. In 1909, Sonota Dodd of Spokane, Wash., began a unsuccessful decades-long campaign for national recognition of the day.

The resistance largely came from a public concerned that the push was commercialization, although Presidents Woodrow Wilson and Calvin Coolidge both actively campaigned to make the holiday a national one. Commentators and social scientists of the day argued that men were primarily breadwinners, with a limited domestic role. By World War II, the day was marketed as one to honor those serving in the armed forces, and as one history of Father's Day reports, by the end of that war, Father's Day may not have been official, but it was certainly tradition.

In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers, designating the third Sunday in June as Father's Day. Six years later, the day was made a permanent national holiday when President Richard Nixon signed it into law in 1972.

While fatherhood is a gift, it also has no instruction book. Those choices made by father figures are carried with us forever. We thank them

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