William Shakespeare penned, "It is a wise father that knows his own child." By the same token, it is a wise and respectful child who always honors and remembers his father, especially on Father’s Day.
The first Father’s Day observance in America, reportedly, was held in Spokane Washington on June 19, 1910. Residents of Fairmont, West Virginia, however, claim to have held the first official observance at the Williams Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church on July 5, 1908, two years before the Spokane observance.
It was recommended by legislators, in 1924, that Father’s Day be a national holiday. Lyndon Johnson, in 1966, went one step further and mandated that the Father's Day holiday should be celebrated on the third Sunday of June. It wasn’t until Richard Nixon was president that Father’s Day was recognized officially as a holiday, beginning in 1972. Now, it is on this day, that we traditionally show our appreciation to Dads all across America.
The holiday can be difficult for those whose fathers are deceased, however. Those with deceased fathers can still observe the day and honor their fathers with remembrances and memorial dedications.
Tributes to Deceased Fathers on Father’s Day
There are many tributes that can be paid to deceased fathers on Father’s Day. Those with deceased fathers can memorialize them with lighted candles placed in front of their father’s photograph or by lighting a candle in church in memory of their fathers.
Sharing pictures of and stories about their fathers with family is a fitting way to keep Dad’s memory alive on the special day. Visiting Dad’s graveside on Father’s Day and spending a moment in quite thought and prayer is a common way to honor a deceased father on the holiday, as well.
On Father’s Day it can be cathartic and a fitting tribute for those whose fathers have passed away to visit a place that was commonly shared with him when he was alive – a place that he enjoyed, such as a sporting event or a favorite restaurant.
Those with deceased fathers can observe Father’s Day by making a donation to their father’s favorite charity. Such a donation is not only a fitting memorial tribute, but it is philanthropic, as well.
As Victor Hugo penned, “Son, brother, father, lover, friend. There is room in the heart for all the affections, as there is room in Heaven for all the stars.” Father’s Day is a perfect day for sharing that love, even if the beloved is no longer alive.