What does it take to be a father? Leadership, guidance and love may be some of the qualities that come to mind. On Sunday, fathers are acknowledged for their part in raising children in many places of the world.
Although Father’s Day is known for gifts and cards, for one Airman it’s about being thankful for his father every day.
“My father was not the type to show much emotion, but I always knew he cared since he was always there for me and encouraged me throughout my life,” said Senior Airman Derek Williams, 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron aerospace ground equipment mechanic. “I remember one time when I made him proud I was in the eighth grade and had helped my team win the basketball conference finals. I recall my father smiling and just being happy.”
Even though today Williams is grown up with a family of his own, he still takes time to update his father whether through a phone call or text message.
“Almost every time I go out on an Honor Guard detail I take a picture for him and send it,” Williams said. “He loves pictures of me in my uniform.”
Williams realizes the part his father had in making him the man he is today.
“I can tell I take after my father here and there as far as being strict goes, but I also know when to give in,” he said. “For me, the proudest moment I’ve had as a father was when my daughter did a back flip into the foam pit at Sky Zone. I couldn’t believe my little girl did such an amazing thing. Memories like these make being a dad worthwhile.”
To Williams the day is an important date to recognize his father.
“I feel that my father has played an important role since he was the one who always encouraged me and most importantly, always had my back,” he said. “For me, Father’s Day is about showing thanks and respect for my father and remembering all the things he has done for me.”
Though it is celebrated every year, Father’s Day wasn’t always a welcomed idea.
A florist once said, “Fathers haven’t the same sentimental appeal that mothers have,” according to history.com. A West Virginia church sponsored the nation’s first Father’s Day on July 5, 1908.
The next year, a woman named Sonora Smart Dodd, one of six children raised by a widower, tried to establish an official nationally recognized day for fathers equal to Mother’s Day. She travelled throughout Washington State to raise support and on July 19, 1910, Washington celebrated the nation’s first statewide Father’s Day.
While Father’s Day was accepted in Washington, it took several decades to make it an official holiday.
Then in 1972, in the middle of a presidential re-election, Richard Nixon signed a proclamation making Father’s Day a federal holiday.