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Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany

Readiness Enabler for Operational Forces  •
Chapel congregation 'thanks' fathers

By Cpl. Phuong Chau | | June 20, 2002

Members of the base community attended a Father's Day breakfast, which was prepared by the Protestant Women of the Chapel, here Sunday

The breakfast was one way to honor fathers for the roles they play in the world. People have different ideas of what roles fathers do play.

"We are truly a family here and appreciate what our fathers do," said Sandra Richards, one of the event's organizers. "We want to show them how much we appreciate the role they play in our family, chapel, Corps and country."

Many fathers serve as role models and provide spiritual direction for their families, said Richards. Providing spiritual direction is one of the most important things fathers do, in addition to serving as breadwinner, teacher and entertainer.

The tradition of showing fathers appreciation and gratitude has become part of American culture, but it did not happen overnight.

Sonora Dodd, a Washington state native, conceived the idea of having a day to honor her father, William Smart, a Civil War veteran whose wife died during the delivery of their sixth child. Smart went on to raise all six children by himself. Dodd looked back and saw the importance of her father's actions and the need to pay homage.  She chose to celebrate the first Father's Day in 1909 in Spokane, Wash., on June 5, her father's birthday. Unfortunately, the celebration was postponed until June 19 due to planning problems.

President Calvin Coolidge, the 30th president of the United States, voiced his support of celebrating Father's Day in 1924. However, it was the 36th president, Lyndon B. Johnson, who actually signed the presidential proclamation that designated the third Sunday in June as Father's Day.

According to the Base Chaplain, Lt. Cmdr. Roger C. Richards, the idea of honoring the roles of fathers goes back further.

"If you look at the scriptural references in the New Testament, you will find specific roles for fathers - to be the head of the house and how to be honored," said Richards. "The Lord offers instructions to how a father is supposed to conduct himself.

The media's portrayal of the average fathers is nowhere close to the biblical description, said Richards. Most fathers do a better job than the image portrayed.

"I think it is important to stop and recognize the positive contributions fathers make to families, society and the church," said Richards, whose father is a minister.

Richards, like many other sons and daughters, called Sunday and wished his father a "Happy Father's Day."

Even though Father's Day takes place only once a year, some feel it is necessary to honor their father daily. Navy Lt. Steven Bowser feels it is important to honor his father in everything he does, he said.

"I always ask myself the question: is my father proud of me?" said Bowser. "Whether it is running or being at home alone, I always try to pretend that my dad is here looking over my shoulder, keeping me on the straight and narrow."

Many people still share the view that fathers play significant roles in their lives. However different their perspectives, many people took the time to thank their fathers on Father's Day.