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Posted Monday, June 13, 2011, at 10:08 AM

This Sunday, besides being an opportunity to worship at the church of your choice, you also have the opportunity to recognize the fathers across the United States with Father's Day. Fathers have many titles. Whether you are referred to as Dad, Daddy, Pops or one of the many other names, it's a privileged title. With the name, numerous responsibilities follow.

To a child, the father is a book of knowledge about everything and can do anything. The true reality of a father is that of a provider, trainer, and, especially, a protector of the welfare of the child. It's not the title of the father that makes a difference; it's the concern of the father that makes the difference. So on this day let me encourage you to remember Dad.

The history of Father's Day goes back to the early 1900s. It originated with Sonora Smart Dodd whose father, a Civil War veteran, raised her and her five siblings after Dodd's mother died while giving birth.

Dodd came up with the idea for the holiday while listening to a sermon on Mother's Day which was a burgeoning holiday at the time. Dodd felt her father deserved the same recognition as the mothers do. After gaining support from the religious community, the first Father's Day was celebrated on June 19, 1910, the month of her father's birthday.

In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge gave his support to the observance of the holiday. In 1966, President Johnson proclaimed it as a national holiday to be celebrated on the third Sunday in June. The holiday became official when President Nixon signed a 1972 law decreeing its observance on the third Sunday of June.

This Sunday, let's celebrate Dad and his contribution to our life. Our fathers do so much for us. They are the givers of life. They are our protectors and heroes. They teach and discipline us. They are our providers. But, most of all, they shape and build us into the people we are.

As General Douglas MacArthur said about fatherhood, "By profession I am a soldier and take pride in that fact. But I am prouder--infinitely prouder--to be a father. A soldier destroys in order to build; the father only builds, never destroys.1

All fathers can appreciate the sentiment in MacArthur's words. Please take a moment to thank the builder in your life. Hug your Dad today.

From the Capitol

Speaker Tilley formed a special committee last week to look into ways we can improve our response to natural disasters. The House Interim Committee on Disaster Recovery will be chaired by Speaker Pro Tem Shane Schoeller, R-Willard, and my good friend Todd Richardson,

R-Poplar Bluff, has been asked to serve on this committee. The committee will explore steps the legislature can take to get those affected by a disaster back on their feet.

The committee was formed in response to all of the devastation that Missouri has endured this year due to the weather. With the tornadoes that hit Joplin and St. Louis and the flooding here in Southeast Missouri, many citizens need our help. The committee will determine the best ways for us to improve our response going forward.

Richardson held a meeting last Thursday at the Poplar Bluff Chamber of Commerce to gather information to present to the committee. Some very good ideas came out of that meeting. For example, it was suggested that the state could keep a company on contract to provide trailers for victims of disasters. They could use the trailers as living quarters until they can find other living arrangements or fix their existing homes.

Another important suggestion was keeping a company on contract to begin any cleanup efforts immediately. The state's efforts in Joplin would be farther along if we had this provision in place.

The committee is set to begin its work this week and will report its findings to Speaker Tilley by July 31st. The decision to call a special session to act on this issue will be made at that time.

As always, it is an honor to serve you in the Missouri House. If you would like to discuss any issue, please call 573-751-3629. You can also email me at Kent.Hampton@house.mo.gov. I look forward to hearing from you.

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Rep. Kent Hampton - 163rd District
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