George Bush photo

Proclamation 5989—Father's Day, 1989

June 09, 1989

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

By tradition, the third Sunday in June is designated Father's Day. Each year, we Americans observe this special day with renewed appreciation for the many gifts fathers bestow upon their children and the Nation.

When a father cradles his first child in his arms he knows that he holds the wonder of life itself. In that tender moment, he becomes aware of the endless rewards and awesome responsibilities of fatherhood.

A father sees the future not as some distant time and remote concern, but as the place in history where his children will dwell. He thus regards the world with a profound sense of stewardship, taking active interest in the course of current events and pursuing every endeavor as an investment in his children's well-being.

Though their gratitude may often go unspoken, children long remember their father's affection, hard work, and generosity. The simple joys of dad's piggyback rides, patient coaching, and countless little treats and surprises are memories that a child cherishes forever. What teenage girl who has winced at her father's scrutiny of her prom date, what boy who has rolled his eyes at dad's familiar lecture on driving carefully, has not also recognized these paternal "offenses" as signs of love and concern?

Most children, however, do not fully appreciate their father's concerns and sacrifices until they have children of their own. A father will carry the weight of the world on his shoulders for his family, but he will also leave the world and its distractions behind when his children need an attentive listener or another player in a game of catch. Though he may be worried about everything from a sick baby to the cost of shoes, his children are touched only by his quiet strength and faith in God.

Fathers also provide an example of discipline, concern, and commitment. Children learn from their fathers that unconditional love is the foundation of a family and that it cannot exist apart from respect, consideration, faithfulness, and responsibility. A father, in shaping the character of his children, helps to shape the character of our Nation.

While we have ample opportunity and infinite reasons throughout the year to express respect and gratitude for our dads, Father's Day enables us to recognize them in a special way. On this day, let us give thanks for and to our Nation's fathers. They have surely earned a place of honor in our hearts and prayers.

Now, Therefore, I, George Bush, President of the United States of America, in accordance with a joint resolution of the Congress approved April 24, 1972 (36 U.S.C. 142a), do hereby proclaim Sunday, June 18, 1989, as Father's Day. I invite the States and communities and people of the United States to observe that day with appropriate ceremonies as a mark of appreciation and abiding affection for their fathers. I direct government officials to display the flag of the United States on all Federal Government buildings, and I urge all Americans to display the flag at their homes and other suitable places on that day.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this ninth day of June, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirteenth.

Signature of George Bush


George Bush, Proclamation 5989—Father's Day, 1989 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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