Page:United States Statutes at Large Volume 104 Part 6.djvu/916

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104 STAT. 5306 PROCLAMATION 6147—JUNE 14, 1990 of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fourteenth. GEORGE BUSH Proclamation 6147 of June 14, 1990 Father's Day, 1990 By the President of the United States of America A Proclamation Each year, on the third Sunday in June, we pause to honor our fathers and to express our gratitude for their generosity and devotion. Father's Day is more than a day rich in family love and tradition—it is also a day when we are deeply mindful of the many ways fathers strengthen our communities and Nation. As children, we cannot fully fathom the depth of our father's love for us. Neither can we fully realize the weight of his responsibilities. Children cherish their father's affection and attention, as well as the time they spend together—be it playing a favorite game, assembling a kite or train set, or discovering the wonders of books, history, and nature. Rarely do they perceive in their father's tender gaze the worries, frustrations, and concerns that have ever been a part of parenting. When a child is hurt or sick, he knows only that there is comfort and reassurance in his father's warm embrace. He cannot know the quiet heartache of the man who would, if it were somehow possible, gladly suffer in his stead. When a child says goodbye on his first day of school, or learns how to ride a bike for the first time, he hears only the encouragement and pride in his father's voice. He cannot hear his father's unspoken prayers for his safety and well-being on the many journeys that lie ahead. Eager to protect, nurture, and provide for his children, a father constantly gives of himself, always striving to do his best and always hoping that his best will be enough. As we grow older, we cannot fail to recognize this love and selflessness as the essence of fatherhood. With each passing year, and especially as we have children of our own, we become ever more grateful for our father's love and discipline, and for the many sacrifices he has made for our sake. We begin to see clearly how being a father requires faith and fortitude, and we begin to understand the enormous responsibility shouldered by one of our dearest friends and teachers. Through their dad, young people learn important lessons about love and commitment, duty and fidelity, and respect and concern for others. The importance of his example cannot be overstated, because the man who is faithful, giving, and forgiving also teaches his children powerful lessons about the One who is the just and loving Father of us all. Because children remember these lessons for a lifetime, and because these lessons influence their behavior as members of a larger community, fathers play a very important role in shaping the character of our