By Tom Ehrich

As a son, a father and a grandfather, I want to salute the dads.

I know I am grateful for the father who raised me, loved me, and showed me what it means to be a man, a husband and a father. Like many in his World War Two generation, he cared deeply for his country, for his community, for his church, and most of all, for his family.

I burst with pride when, as a boy, I helped him move his business to a new location. And when I walked home from school on Election Day and found him doing his biennial duty as a poll worker, caring for democracy. And when I stood beside him in church to sing his favorite hymn, “O God, our help in ages past.”

I burst with pride also at the lives of my three sons. Like many fathers, I never knew if I was doing enough for them. I know I tried to teach them important life skills: reading, writing, fielding grounders, respecting women, driving, using basic tools, working hard, and being honest.

They are extraordinary young men. They make the world better.

And now two of the three are fathers! I love watching them in action. They get it. The third will, too. The most important parts of being a father? Loving their kids’ mother. Loving the kids. And being present.

I know that many children are ambivalent about their fathers. Many fathers are ambivalent about being dads. It’s a challenging role. To some extent, the mounting dysfunctions of our society take fathers as their first casualty.

On Fathers Day, I celebrate all of the men who are trying their best.

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