How did Father’s Day come to be recognized in so many countries? According to Wikipedia and other sources, several persons have claimed to be its founder. However, the initiative that is most widely accepted as successful is the following one.
Sonora Smart Dodd was the daughter of the civil war veteran William Jackson Smart. He raised six children as a single parent after his wife died during childbirth. Sonora was a member of Old Centenary Presbyterian Church (now Knox Presbyterian Church), where she first proposed the idea of a day to honor fathers. After hearing a sermon about Mother’s Day in 1909 at Central Methodist Episcopal Church, she told her pastor that fathers should have a similar day. Several local clergymen accepted the idea, and on June 19, 1910, a celebration was held at the YMCA in Spokane, Washington. That idea of a Father’s Day observance stuck and grew to nearly worldwide recognition.
Like many other holidays, however, this observance has lost some of its real meaning over the years. It has become commercialized. Online and offline we are bombarded by special offers to buy dad a smart phone, a home theater system, gift cards, golf clubs or clothing. Gifts are good, but what would it be like if those who are able would also spend time with their father? It’s free. Take a walk. Talk. Reminisce. Tell him you love him. Give him a hug. As years go by both of you will fondly remember the great times you spent together on father’s days, long after the gift is forgotten.
Remember that God is a Father too.