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This weekend across our great Nation, we will celebrate the contributions of fathers.

Hello, this is First Lady Ann LePage.

June 16 is a special day for dads, and it is with warmest greetings that I extend wishes to all fathers around the world.

Fathers are important figures in any family. They are mentors and build character of the household through their example.

I recall my own father. He was a modest man who devoted his life to family. I was blessed with a dad who was faithful to my mom for 50 years before his passing in 2007.

Despite a hard day’s work putting in 10-12 hours at the mill, I remember my dad would come home and always make time for us. He was big on holidays and birthdays, always wanting to celebrate with family. When I was younger, every Sunday, without fail, we had a family dinner including my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. He always loved a big party!

As dedicated as my dad was to us, he worked just as hard. His work ethic was much like my husband’s, but when my father first met Paul he said that he was white collar guy.

My dad said, ‘Ann, for god’s sake, he’s a white collar. He doesn’t know how to work.’ He was the first one to later tell Paul how wrong he was. Whenever my Dad had a problem or needed advice, Paul was always the first one he came to.

My dad – the hardworking union man – had more in common with Paul than he initially thought. Paul looked up to my father and both men were proud of each other.

I am fortunate to be married to a most loving and generous man who has been a wonderful father to our children. Paul is a man of his word and he leads by example. I want to thank him for being such an exemplary father and a wonderful husband of 28 years. In our household, it is always family first!

We also must remember our fathers who are serving far from home. Our military dads are away from loved ones to defend our Nation and freedoms we share. We thank you for your service and dedication to your family and our Country.

On this special day, find time to reflect on the gift of fatherhood and to acknowledge that to be a father is a great honor. Our Country needs the example of good fathers who play an important role in building secure and strong families.

I give my heartfelt thanks to all the fathers of Maine who have been wonderful dads and husbands.

I wish you a very Happy Father’s Day!

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