I hope you had a great Fathers Day weekend, this previous Sunday the 18th of June, and you took the time to thank the one who sacrificed, persevered and led courageously, so that you can be here today and lead the life you do.
I learned how to lead from my Father who made an uncertain voyage across the Atlantic from Eastern Europe to America in 1930 when he was 9 years old. Together with my grandfather and his family they built a new life through commitment, courage, and grit.
He learned to speak and write English quickly, worked hard in school and sports, volunteered for the Army Air Corps in World War II, and continued serving in the Air Force during the Korean War. As with so many humble leaders of the Greatest Generation, he rarely spoke of his combat experiences, but the way he lived his life and upheld his character told us his story.
As a young boy, I didn’t know that he often worked double shifts to provide for my mom, my five brothers and sisters and me. He would always say, “Do your best. And, whatever you can do, do it well.”
Although he passed away when I was 11, and he never knew he inspired me to serve our Country in the Navy, I have always known he is with me on life’s inexplicable journey, every minute of every day, guiding me with an invisible hand and heart. His leadership values direct me, especially in the most difficult times.
Today we pause to honor all our Fathers — those who are with us, those who have passed on to their eternal reward, and so many generations past. Today we say thank you Dad, for everything. We will never forget the values you have given us, we will always remember your selflessness, and we will teach our children to carry on as you have done. Your caring spirit lives on in us.
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