It might surprise you to know that the very first Father’s Day Proclamation was made in 1972 by President Richard Nixon. In fact, that first proclamation was the one that declared it a national holiday.
In keeping with that tradition, President Donald Trump published a press release on June 16 proclaiming June 18, 2017, as Father’s Day, declaring that it’s time to “celebrate the indispensable role fathers play in our lives and communities.”
Trump’s entire proclamation was as heartfelt and reminiscent of the late President Nixon’s sentiments. He carries on the tradition by beginning:
“Father’s Day is a special occasion that reminds us to pause and thank the men in our lives who have taken on the responsibility of raising children. As sons and daughters, we recognize the love they have given and the sacrifices they have made, and we celebrate the indispensable role fathers play in our lives and communities.”
In his emotional statement, Trump attributed fathers with the “ability and responsibility to instill in us core values we carry into adulthood,” and the children with remembering moments “big and small” that shape us into who we are. He went on to urge citizens to celebrate the day and to recognize the fathers in this nation that “put their children first” day in and day out.
He also went on to include fathers “by birth, adoption, or foster care,” honoring everything they have done for us in inspiring “us to better ourselves and to be men and women of outstanding character.” In equally warm words, Nixon’s statement read, “In fatherhood we know the elemental magic and joy of humanity.”
The 1972 proclamation states:
“Our identity in name and nature, our roots in home and family, our very standard of manhood — all this and more is the heritage our fathers share with us. It is a rich patrimony, one for which adequate thanks can hardly be offered in a lifetime, let alone a single day. Still it has long been our national custom to observe each year one special Sunday in honor of America’s fathers; and from this year forward, by a joint resolution of the Congress approved April 24, 1972, that custom carries the weight of law.”
Trump often speaks openly about his father’s positive influence in his own life and is frequently seen spending time with his own son. In fact, he flew his family to Camp David for the weekend to celebrate the special day in the way he urged the rest of us to do. Photos from the trip can be found on the First Lady’s Twitter feed.
On the heels of the tragic shooting of U.S. Representative Steve Scalise, Trump’s charge to “recommit ourselves as individuals, families, and communities to promoting and supporting fatherhood, and take this day to express our love and appreciation for fathers across our country,” is an emotional statement. It’s a statement that should give cause to Americans to wake up and unite in a peaceful celebration of family.
President Trump’s entire proclamation can be found on the White House’s website.