I saw this on BillionGraves yesterday – Father’s Day at Home and in the Cemetery: https://blog.billiongraves.com/2019/06/04/10-life-lessons-from-fathers/.
Sonora Smart Dodd had a great idea. It was such a good idea that we are still doing it more than 100 years later. In 1909, Sonora thought that it was nice that mothers had an official Mother’s Day, but she had no mother. So she wanted to set aside a special day to honor fathers. Father’s Day is now celebrated on the third Sunday in June in the United States.
Sonora was especially close to her father, a widower who was raising his six children by himself after his wife died in childbirth. She wanted to honor not only her own father but fathers throughout the country for their unselfish service. Thinking of her dad, Senora chose his birth month of June for the holiday.
The first Father’s Day celebration was held on June 19, 1910 in Spokane, Washington. By 1913 a bill was introduced to make the holiday official, but it lacked support.
In 1924, the idea was supported by President Calvin Coolidge, but he did not make a national proclamation. Then in 1966, President Lyndon Johnson issued a presidential proclamation to set aside the 3rd Sunday in June as Father’s Day. However, it wasn’t until 1972 that Father’s Day was declared a permanent national holiday by President Richard Nixon.
The United States is not the only country that recognizes dads. More than 50 counties around the world have a designated day to honor fathers – usually in May, June, or in early autumn.
Whether you will be spending Father’s Day with your dad or grandfather by your side at the dinner table, on the other end of the phone, or kneeling by their graveside, below are 10 ways you can honor them.
1. Take His Advice (and write it down!)
Father’s Day is a good time to remember the life lessons that our fathers, grandfathers, or other father-figures have taught us.
It’s a father’s delight (when he isn’t shaving or mowing something) to pass on gems of wisdom to his offspring like “Measure twice, cut once.” Or “Essential oils are the oils used to cook chicken and French fries. All the rest are non-essential.”
2. Follow His Example
One of the traits my grandfather exemplified was hard work. He was the vice-president of Michigan National Bank until his retirement at age 65. Then he and my grandmother moved to the coast of North Carolina.
–snip–3. Spend Time Together
Do what your father likes to do.
4. Forgive Him
Remember that your father was once a little boy who needed someone’s love and teaching. His growing-up life was likely not perfect – none are – so he may not have learned all the lessons life had to teach before he became a father himself.
So cut him some slack, forgive his mistakes, and love him anyway.
5. Take GPS-linked photos of all the gravestones in the cemetery where your father’s family is buried
a. Download the BillionGraves app to your smartphone.
b. Create a free account on the app or at BillionGraves.com. c. In the app, click on “take pictures” to begin taking photos in your local cemetery. The GPS location will automatically be recorded. d. When finished, connect to Wi-Fi and upload cemetery photos. e. Repeat! 🙂
Photo-taking Tips: a. Stand to the side to avoid casting a shadow. b. Remove weeds, grass, or other debris that may block gravestone information. c. Be sure names and dates are inside the photo frame. d. Use the link icon in the corner of the screen to connect photos. This may be done for gravestones with multiple sides or to link family members. e. Use the pencil icon in the corner of the screen to label stones that may be difficult for transcribers to read.
6. Clean your father’s (or grandfather’s) gravestone.
Father’s Day without a dad can be especially tough. He may not be there for you to serve him breakfast in bed, read your card, or open your gift, but you can still honor him in a special way.
7. Label Your Father’s Photos.
Dig out those old pictures and get them labeled before everyone forgets who they are! Your dad or other family members may be able to identify the people that you have never met. When you are done, add pictures of your father and his genealogical line to BillionGraves or FamilySearch.
8. Give Time
If your father has passed away, spend your time making another father happy on Father’s Day. Maybe you prepared your dad’s favorite meal, gave him a gift, or wrote him a letter on his special day. Now brighten someone else’s day by doing the same for him.
Happy Father’s Day!
Cathy Wallace and the BillionGraves Team