Being a father is about more than just having children, US President Barack Obama has said while highlighting that his administration is enacting policies that make it easier for working fathers to support their families.
"My Administration is dedicated to enacting policies that makes it easier for working fathers to support their families, including paid family leave," Obama said in a proclamation to declare June 19 as Father's Day.
"We must promote responsible fatherhood by lifting up the fathers who do their part to be the parents and providers their children need and by rejecting any excuse for failing to meet this obligation," said the US President who is a father of two daughters.
Too many Americans grow up without a father figure in their lives and it is imperative that America's responsible men step up to be mentors for our young people in need of guidance, 54-year-old Obama said.
"Being a father is about more than just having children—it is about summoning the courage to love and support them over anything else," he added.
"We must always strive to be the best parents and role models we can be and commit to being present in the lives of our kids," he added.
"Nothing is more precious than the moments we get to spend with our families—in conversations at the dinner table, coaching tips shouted from the sidelines, or profound experiences of learning and growing and teaching," Obama said.
"Today, let us express our gratitude for the men who have enriched our lives and shaped our characters, and let us never stop working to show them how much they are valued and love," he added.
Observing that fathers provide the discipline, guidance, and love it takes to flourish, Obama said with persistence and patience, generosity and integrity, they build the cores and help understand right from wrong.
"They are some of our earliest and strongest sources of support and encouragement, and they serve as role models and sounding boards in our youth and as we grow," he said.
"From single fathers who struggle to make ends meet to surrogates who step up to be there for America's daughters and sons, these men help shoulder the greatest obligation that exists -- raising the next generation," Obama said.