Fathers reflect: Are we deserving of a special day?

June 16. 2013 4:01AM

It's Father's Day, a day set aside to give Dad his due.

There have been some extra notable fathers: George Washington, father of our country; Eli Whitney, father of the Industrial Revolution; and Father Time, among many.

These figures definitely deserved a day devoted to honoring their honorable qualities. But what about the average Joes? The guys who teach their kids how to mow the lawn (especially good for Father's Day) and work long hours to provide for their families? The ones who keep trying even when they mess up? The ones who kiss away hurts and make everything better.

We asked some dads whether they think they deserve a special day and what qualities a father needs to be excellent.

Here are their answers:

Do dads deserve a special day?

GardnerAaron Gardner, Florida:

"Of course. It gives us an opportunity to reflect on what your dad means to you, and all of the things you got to do with him."

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DohertyPat Doherty, Weare:

"Really, it's just a regular day. It's a day the family recognizes the contributions of being a dad, but you still have to do the same things, just like moms do on Mother's Day."

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ColburnRick Colburn, Massachusetts:

"Absolutely. Everybody has a day, why not fathers?"

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AcamporaJohn Acampora, Hooksett:

"Of course. It's just to pay respect for all the things we do for our children when they're growing up."

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SchreskyBernie Schresky, visiting Manchester:

"Certainly they deserve it, they go through a lot back from when the kids are born."

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BristolLee Bristol, Manchester:

"We get short-shrift! I think we should be allowed to play golf without any grief — we work hard, it's only fair. We have to put up with a lot, especially if we have daughters!''

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ThomasSteve Thomas, Hooksett:

"We deserve more than one." Maybe it's because he taught his children to drive. "They need more lessons."

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GrimardMoe Grimard, Manchester:

"Yeah, I guess we do. I guess it's nice to have one day of solitude. I don't know if it's deserved, but it's nice to have the one day of recognition."

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WoodScott Wood, Weare:

"Sure we deserve it, but I don't think it gets as much attention as Mother's Day. ''

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GrenonNathan Grenon, Manchester:

"Yes, I think most deserve the day because there is a lot involved in parenting, and a lot of what is involved in parenting is taken for granted." And he taught his son to drive. "Now, when he drives, I stay home."

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MagoonIvan Magoon, Claremont:

" I don't know, I suppose...if it weren't for us, our kids wouldn't be here.''

What are the qualities that make an excellent father?

ClarkGregory Clark, Pawtucket, R.I., with daughter Madison Clark, 20 months, visiting New Hampshire:

"Being a good role model. Just showing them the way to behave in public."

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JamesBill James, Keene:

"Kindness, gentleness, firmness and sensitivity and allowing them to have their own experiences. And having fun. I think that's what helps to form personalities. And you need to enjoy whatever it is you're doing."

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TandyPeter Tandy, Keene:

"The best advice I ever got was to chill out. To respond, not react, which is the hardest part. So you practice that. You fail most of the time, but every now and then, you have the time to think before you respond."

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LoomerMark Loomer, working with the Keene Fire Department:

"To (be able to) encourage and to mentor."

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FredellaPaul Fredella, 45, a landscape architect doing work in Keene:

"Patience would be Number 1, follow through would be Number 2 and compassion and understanding of your child's situation. Even with four kids and a set of twins, every kid is different, so don't try to group them all into one way of disciplining them or understanding them or helping them."

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HowardMark Howard, deputy chief of the Keene Fire Department:

"I think to be able to understand their kids and be able to understand their needs."

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PallottaPete Pallotta, Dublin:

"Understanding, patience, a little bit of humor. Let your kids grow, be themselves, and have a little bit of a rein on them. "

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CharpentierKevin Charpentier, Connecticut, visiting Keene:

"Keep them alive. ... Remain calm, because if you go off, you can't deal with it, whatever the situation is. So you're just better off being calm."

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