Page:United States Statutes at Large Volume 106 Part 6.djvu/769

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PROCLAMATION 6448-JUNE 17, 1992 106 STAT. 5327 A person who has been blessed with a loving, responsible, and supportive father is considered, by all accounts, to be very lucky. In some respects, he or she is. Yet, however fortunate one may feel to have a faithful and devoted father, we know that "luck" ultimately has little to do with it. It is not luck that motivates a man to protect, nurture, and provide for his children. It is not luck that keeps a man at his family's side when times are tough. No, it is not luck; rather, it is the unconditional love and lifelong commitment of a man who understands and accepts his responsibilities and is determined to endure the hard work and sacrifices that are an inevitable part of family life. This, of course, is not to deny that some families and fathers experience a tragic share of misfortune—that some dads, no matter how hard they might try, encounter extraordinary obstacles and setbacks. However, the American who counts himself lucky on Father's Day gives thanks, not for the blind charity of fate, but for the deliberate courage of a father who always tried his best, even in the face of adversity; who always labored to provide full measures of love and discipline; and who, above all, constantly strived to instill in his children ihe virtues of faith, industry, personal responsibility, and concern for others. A good father may be rich or poor, worldly or simple, but in every case he is determined to look after the safety and well-being of his children, as well as their physical, emotional, and spiritual development. A loving father makes a difference by his presence alone. Indeed, youngsters who look forward to their dad's return from work or other responsibilities are delighted by the sound of his car in the driveway or of his sure step upon the threshold. Children treasure their father's attention and affection, as well as his encouragement and guidance, and in his company they find security, reassurance, and direction. While many a dad has been called far from home, either by military duty or by some other serious obligation, a loving father remains ever close in heart—and eager to return one day. In such cases, a father's absence is redeemed as an expression of love—like that of the distant soldier who is resolved to promote a safer, more peaceful world for his children. While a father's presence makes a profound difference in the lives of his children, most important is his active participation in the development of their character and values. Parenthood is, from its most fundamental level, oriented by nature toward partnership and union. Thus, if the family is the foundation of society, then fatherhood may well be described as a cornerstone: Just as the physical structure of a house stands with each brick supporting the oQier, so do the institutions of home and family life endure through the mutual support of husband and wife. Finally, it is not surprising that we are reminded that the Fourth Commandment given to man by God is the first with a promise: Honor your father and your mother, "that it may be well with you and that you may live long on the earth." This injunction might readily apply to nations, as well as to individuals—each of us should honor not only our own moms and dads but also the divinely ordained institutions of motherhood and fatherhood. These are the twin pillars of strong, loving families and stable, caring communities, and flie very future of our Nation begs that we offer them our respect and support. 59-194 O—93 25:QL 3 (Pt. 6)