I don't know what they'll put him at, or what his post may be;
I cannot guess the task that waits for him across the sea,
But I have known him through the years, and when there's work to do,
I know he'll meet his duty well, I'll swear that he'll be true.
I sometimes fear that he may die, but never that he'll shirk;
If death shall want him death must go and take him at his work;
This splendid sacrifice he makes is filled with terrors grim,
And I have many thoughts of fear, but not one fear of him.
The foe may rob my life of joy, the foe may take my all,
And desolate my days shall be if he shall have to fall.
But this I know, whate'er may be the grief that I must face,
Upon his record there will be no blemish of disgrace.
His days have all been splendid days, there lies no broken trust
Along the pathway of his youth to molder in the dust;
Honor and truth have marked his ways, in him I can be glad;
He is as fine and true a son as ever a father had.
In peace sons bury fathers, but war violates the order of nature, and fathers bury sons.
Build me a son, O Lord, who will be strong enough to know when he is weak, and brave enough to face himself when he is afraid; one who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat, and humble and gentle in victory.† Build me a son, whose wishes will not take the place of deeds; a son who will know Thee -- and that to know himself is the foundation stone of knowledge. Lead him, I pray, not in the path of ease and comfort, but under the stress and spur of difficulties and challenge. Here let him learn to stand up in the storm; here let him learn compassion for those who fail. Build me a son whose heart will be clear, whose goal will be high; a son who will master himself before he seeks to master other men, one who will reach into the future, yet never forget the past. And, after all these things are his, add, I pray, enough of a sense of humor, so that he may always be serious, yet never take himself too seriously. Give him humility, so that he may always remember the simplicity of true greatness, the open mind of true wisdom, and the weakness of true strength. Then I, his father, will dare to whisper, "I have not lived in vain."
Young men, you are your fatherís pride and joy. In you they see a promising future and their hope for a better, improved version of themselves. Your accomplishments are a joy to them. Your worries and problems are their worries and problems.
Fathers, you are the primary model of manhood for your sons. You are their most meaningful mentor, and believe it or not, you are their hero in countless ways. Your words and your example are a great influence on them.
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