June 13, 2003
Fatherhood is one of life's most challenging yet fulfilling endeavors. On
Father's Day, we honor America's fathers and express our appreciation for
all they do to help build a strong foundation for our children and our Nation.
We also reaffirm our commitment to supporting fathers and encouraging responsible
fatherhood in our society.
Fathers have indispensable roles to play in the lives of their children:
provider, protector, nurturer, teacher, and friend. Every caring father unconditionally
loves his sons and daughters and strives for the best for his children in
the future. In seeking to give their children the opportunity to succeed,
fathers offer needed strength, guidance, and discipline.
Fathers teach their children many basic things in life: how to read a book,
throw a ball, tie a necktie, ride a bike, or drive a car. More importantly,
they also help instill time-honored values in their children, such as hard
work, respect, honesty, and good citizenship. Through their words, actions,
and sacrifices, fathers play an important role in shaping the characters
of their sons and daughters.
The time and attention that a father gives to a child is irreplaceable --
there is no substitute for the involvement and commitment of a responsible
father. Not only are fathers essential to the healthy development of children,
they also influence the strength of families and the stability of communities.
For this reason, our Government is working to help fathers succeed in this
challenging, but life-affirming, role. Over the last 2 years, my Administration
has taken important steps to promote responsible fatherhood and encourage
community-based initiatives that help them fulfill their important roles.
We are working to provide funds for healthy marriage and parenting education
and for community mentoring programs to help fathers become more engaged
and involved in their children's lives.
This Father's Day, we recognize the many fathers who are heroes and role
models for their children, and we encourage more men to fulfill this responsibility
by loving their sons and daughters with all their heart and demonstrating
this love daily. By working together to encourage America's fathers, we can
strengthen our society and help ensure the well-being of all our children.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America,
in accordance with a joint resolution of the Congress approved April 24,
1972, as amended (36 U.S.C. 109), do hereby proclaim June 15, 2003, as Father's
Day. I encourage all Americans to express love, admiration, and thanks to
their fathers for their contributions to our lives and to society. I direct
the appropriate officials of the Government to display the flag of the United
States on all Government buildings on this day. I also call upon State and
local governments and citizens to observe this day with appropriate programs,
ceremonies, and activities.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirteenth day of June,
in the year of our Lord two thousand three, and of the Independence of the
United States of America the two hundred and twenty-seventh.