Today we join the rest of the world in celebrating and honoring Fathers and Father figures. Let us as a community take this time to give recognition and show our appreciation and gratitude to fathers, and show them how much we value and honor them.
Fathers have an important role in our society and specifically within the family structure, as they play an important role in how a child develops and ultimately influence the future of St. Maarten. Over the years, the role of the father has evolved, not only are they providers and protectors, they have become equally involved in the nurturing of their children. This is not a role we should take lightly. Fathers have a role in creating safe and stable environments in which their children can develop, grow and thrive.
I know that there are many unsung heroes out there, fathers who are fully present in their children’s lives; fathers who are loving, supportive, and protective providers of stability that each child craves. I salute you for your commitment to be that role model, that tower of strength, who is able to embrace his feelings and emotions, thereby giving his sons and daughters the example of what it means to be a well-balanced male human.
I take this time to congratulate and salute all the fathers who recognized the value of your presence in and influence on your children’s lives. Strong, loving, compassionate children are needed to grow this nation. To those fathers who may not understand how deeply impactful your love, attention and support are for your children, it’s time to step up and take your role and responsibility seriously.
Fathers and father figures, you are an example for your children and especially for our young men. It is therefore a father’s duty to live a life for our children to follow. It is often said that a father is “A son's first hero, a daughter's first love.” As such, I urge all fathers to never forget the awesome responsibility entrusted to you when becoming a father. As a co-parent, it is imperative to ensure your child feels loved, safe, protected, supported, and encouraged to be free to be his/her own authentic self.
Today, I also take time to remember those fathers who have passed leaving a void in their children’s lives. I urge those of us still mourning that loss to take time to pay tribute to the wonderful father he was. Remember the lessons learned and know that his guiding spirit will always be with you.
On behalf of the Government of St. Maarten, I ask the community to join me in wishing all fathers both at home and abroad a wonderfully blessed and happy Father’s Day. Know that you are valued and needed in the lives of your children. May all fathers continue to have God's blessing and grace.