Father's Day 2014: Readers share their best memories of their fathers growing up

Sons and daughters around the world will celebrate Father’s Day Sunday, June 15. Our readers shared stories of their fathers, which were a mix of warmth and melancholy.

Posted on June 14, 2014 at 7:15 p.m.

Fathers throughout the world will wake up Sunday morning, June 15, to a day celebrated in their honor.

Some Dads will awake to their kids bringing them breakfast in bed. Others may open gifts that sons and daughters bought hastily the night before. Some fathers may simply choose to sleep in.

Father’s Day began 106 years ago in West Virginia, according to The History Channel. However, it was not a celebration. A church sponsored the one-off event on July 5, 1908, to commemorate 362 men who died in an explosion at a mine in Monongah, W. Va. It was one of the worst mine disasters in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

A woman in Spokane, Wash., then tried to start another Father’s Day celebration in 1909. Sonora Smart Dodd was one of six children raised by a widower. She sought out local churches, the YMCA, shopkeepers and government officials for support.

A year later, Washington celebrated the nation’s first statewide Father’s Day. The event then slowly began to catch on in different states.

In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge urged state governments to observe Father’s Day. However, many men still disliked the holiday, according to The History Channel. A historian said that these men thought the event was an attempt to “domesticate manliness with flowers and gift-giving” and that it was a commercial gimmick to get people to buy products which fathers had to pay for anyway.

However, that did not stop the nation and the world from celebrating Father’s Day.

President Barack Obama wished dads from around the country a Happy Father’s Day in his weekly address on Saturday, June 14.

“I know how important it is to have a dad in your life, because I grew up without my father around,” President Obama said in his address. “I felt the weight of his absence. So for Michelle and our girls, I try every day to be the husband and father my family didn’t have when I was young. And every chance I get, I encourage fathers to get more involved in their children’s lives, because what makes you a man isn’t the ability to have a child – it’s the courage to raise one.”

We asked our readers about their fondest memories of their fathers Saturday, June 14, on Facebook and Twitter. Their responses were a mix of happiness, warmth and, at times, melancholy.

“My dad was an over-the-road truck driver. I loved going on trips with him during my summer vacation,” Gina Stone commented on our Facebook page.

Another reader shared a story about her father’s actions during the Palm Sunday Tornadoes in 1965.

“When he took us to safety to our storm cellar, that was in our backyard, which I Hated! The Tornado of Palm Sunday 1965! THANK YOU DAD!! RIP. 1987.” Brenda Melkus commented.

For some readers, Father’s Day takes on a different meaning in the absence of a parent.

“Fathers day goes to my mom because she carried the weight of 2 parents all by herself for all these years,” Heidi Cross commented.

Here’s what some of our other readers had to say in response to the question.


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