Father's Day has just passed and I was away from my family this year. My job had called for me to be in a foreign country to help set up a new process.
Our two children, Laura and John Jr., made it plain to me that they appreciated me by sending messages through various online media.
Today, I have to wonder, we have a Mother's Day; we have a Father's Day; and we have a Grandparent's Day. Why don't we have a Children's Day?
Yes, there are people that would say everyday is children's day. I know that there are some children that feel like they have never done anything to make their parents proud and that everything they do is wrong or meaningless. My wife and I have two GREAT children. To call them children at this point in their lives is rather an insult.
Our daughter is 26 years young. She is the director of the passenger division of a railroad in our area. Yes, someone responsible for making people happy on anywhere from 45 minutes to a few hours that they sit on board and feel the bump, bump, bump of the tracks below them as they travel through scenic areas of our beloved Pocono Mountains.
She has to make sure that there is staff to safely and properly run the excursions. She oversees ticket sales; and has to be sure the cars are in good shape and all that is inside the cars are in working order. She also oversees the souvenir area so the passengers can purchase a memento of their day out. She does this every weekend and holiday from Memorial Day to Christmas, giving up her weekends so all her passengers can enjoy theirs.
Then there's our son. After high school, he decided to join the United States Marine Corps. He was not ready for further academics and thought that by joining the USMC he could serve our country and get a little money for college when his four years of enlistment were up. Can you imagine? He knew perfectly well that there was a war going on in the Middle East and though he was 18, he brought the recruiter to our home to let us know what his decision was.
We watched with mixed emotions as he signed the papers in front of us. He is 22 years old right now. He has served one tour in Iraq and another tour in Afghanistan. He is home now.
He told us he was trying to get into the community college on base in North Carolina, and figures he will start on what he hopes will lead to a degree in criminal justice and eventually placement as a Pennsylvania State Trooper. Only earlier this week, did we find out that he had volunteered to go back to Afghanistan if needed because the unit that relieved his group in April needs more troops.
Yes, Children's Day. I am sure that I speak for a majority of parents who are equally proud of their children's accomplishments. I am not sure what the card from Hallmark would read but I am sure they would come up with something better than me.
All I can say is "Thank you. You have made us very proud to call you our children!"
John J. Kennedy Sr.
A proud father in Summit Hill