Jun 17 2019
Over the years, I’ve had a lot of different jobs — newspaper boy, naval flight officer, Amtrak board member, Governor and chairman of the National Governors Association — just to name a few. But my most cherished job — and frankly my most important job — is being a father.
I have been blessed with three wonderful sons who make me proud and thankful every day. Like so many dads I know, I’ve long been motivated in all aspects of my life by my love for my children — and my desire to make the world a better place for them, my grandchildren and my great-grandchildren.
This weekend, I was so lucky to get to watch one of my sons, Christopher, walk across stage as he received his MBA – a feat he has worked so hard to achieve! It was a joy for Martha and I to be there to celebrate his accomplishments, and it was a reminder of exactly what is so rewarding about being a father: seeing the fullest potential in our children and working every day to ensure they live in a world where they can reach it.
That means investing in every child’s future. That means doing everything we can right now so that we don’t have to say to the next generation of Americans, “We’re sorry we let you down.” It means leaving a legacy that ensures my sons, their children, their children’s children – and every child across the country – has clean water to drink, clean air to breath and a healthy environment in which they can all reach their fullest potential. It also means setting ambitious goals to fight climate change, the biggest environmental challenge facing the world today. As residents of the lowest lying state in the country, we know all too well that rising sea levels and extreme weather pose a serious threat to our state’s long-term way of life and coastal economy.
This shouldn’t be a partisan issue. Because whether we are Democrats, Independents, or Republicans, we’re fathers or mothers, grandfathers or grandmothers first. We need to all work together to leave a safe and healthy planet for the next generation. Our children — and their children — are counting on us.
As many parents can attest, our children listen closely, and they hear the things we say. But they also watch us to see if we walk the walk. We need action – not just words – to ensure that those who come after us have the chance to thrive and follow their dreams – whatever they may be.
Wishing a very happy Father’s Day to all the dads and father figures out there. I know that we can leave a legacy that makes our kids proud.