FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 17, 2010
This Father's Day I would like to pay tribute to those fathers who have departed from life and left legacies of strength and character.
On Memorial Day, I was honored to participate in the inauguration of the new Weslaco I. S. D. Mario Ybarra Elementary School, named after Pfc. Ybarra who was killed in Vietnam when his only child was about to turn one. Although Mario Ybarra Jr doesn't remember his dad, through the years he has learned the stories of this remarkable man who was lovingly known as "Yogi" to his fellow Marines.
A veteran who served with Pfc. Ybarra and now resides in Iowa says of Yogi, "What better example of character and bravery to place before the students who will attend this school than to honor Mario Ybarra in this way."
Not all of us can boast of hero or celebrity dads, but many of us can boast of good dads, or at least of fathers who did their best for their families, communities and country.
My dad was one of those. He served his country proudly in World War II from where he thankfully returned home. Together with my mother, they instilled in my nine siblings and me exemplary teachings not only with words, but also with actions.
That is the common link between him and Pfc. Ybarra. Through their lives and examples, they left a legacy of strength and character for their children to grow from and carry on. And those of us who are fathers will hopefully transfer that legacy to our children.
This Father's Day, I'd like to encourage all fathers to think about the legacies you are passing on to your children. Let's ask ourselves, "What do we want them to know and remember best about us?
I wish all South Texas dads a Happy Father's Day. May God comfort and bless the families mourning the loss of a father or grandfather.