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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release June 13, 1997




Raising a child is a sacred mission, and the man who welcomes this mission and embraces the obligations of fatherhood is someone who truly deserves our recognition and gratitude. On Father's Day, we honor all the men across our country who have affirmed the importance of parenthood by willingly assuming its important responsibilities.

The tight grasp of a newborn baby's tiny hand curled around his or her father's finger only hints at the strength of the bond that will grow in all the seasons of life between father and child. Caring fathers are not content to merely safeguard their children's physical well-being, but also seek to foster their spiritual and moral growth, and pass on their most cherished values. Mentor, teacher, coach, friend, and hero, a father gives his son or daughter all that his mind, his hands, and his heart can provide. No work is too hard, no sacrifice is too great if doing so will strengthen, protect, nurture, and instill joy in his child.

Fathers teach their children to take pride in themselves and their work, to assume responsibility for their lives and character, and to understand the rewards of sharing with others. Most important, fathers -- whether biological, adoptive, or foster -- offer the strong, steady current of love that sustains their sons and daughters through the good times and bad times that all of us face.

Our Nation is blessed that so many Americans cherish the role of fatherhood in our families, for fathers add a crucial stability and strength to our lives. On Father's Day, let us honor and give thanks to these men who share with their children not only the precious gifts of life and love, but also their time, attention, and the kind of caring concern that lasts a lifetime.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM J. CLINTON, 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 15, 1997, as Father's Day. I invite the States, communities, and citizens of the United States to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities that demonstrate our deep respect and abiding affection for our fathers.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twelfth day of June, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twenty-first.


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