It’s good they get smarter every day because they hold the world’s future in their small hands. It’s good we have a place in their lives because they need our love and protection.
National Children’s Day, recognized the second Sunday in June, is their special date on the calendar, and its observance has grown from austere roots into a celebration of every child.
Surprisingly, their day came about before anyone considered honoring mom and dad. In the late 1800s, several large churches called for a day to honor children; by the turn of the century, the idea gained national acceptance.
Children were no different back then; they didn’t have iPads or smartphones, but they laughed and played just like today’s children. However, the original Children’s Day centered around saving their little souls.
An 1895 article from the New York Times reported that more than 1,000 children had participated in citywide religious ceremonies, hymn singing and baptisms.
Let us imagine after the morning’s proceedings, the children joyously ran through the parks and enjoyed fine picnics with their families and friends. With everyone’s souls intact, it must have been a beautiful afternoon.
Since then, the day’s focus has shifted to outreach programs, international awareness and advocacy for children’s rights. All around the world, there are variations on our Children’s Day.
Countless advances have been made in improving children’s lives, and there are countless opportunities to do even more. The purity of their sweet smiles lights our way. The sound of their laughter beckons us to our responsibilities.
We share this day with our children, wrap our love around their playful hearts and make quiet promises to always do our very best for them. The future they hold in their hands today will belong to their own children soon enough.