The United Nations designated June 1 as Global Day of Parents in 2012 to take the opportunity to acknowledge the indispensable role of parents and their "selfless commitment to children and their lifelong sacrifice towards nurturing this relationship."
Global Peace Women, a division of Global Peace Foundation, has led the ongoing movement "Peace Begins in the Home" which highlights a theme around the family annually. This year, the campaign has rallied around the theme, “Appreciating Parents.” Seven countries from our global community has shared their stories, sharing their appreciation towards fathers, mothers, and parental figures for raising them into the people they have become today.
Here are five heartwarming stories from our global family.
Bambie Panta (Nepal)
This photo was taken during my college graduation with my parents.
I am grateful to my parents for raising me well. They may have not showered me with material things but they've showered me with Love. I am forever indebted to them for molding me into a responsible human being.
Michael Yakawich (United States)
My father was a decorated Veteran of WWII. He served his country in the Pacific Rim. He earned the Silver Star and other recognitions at that time. He married shortly after the war and with his wife, Jeanne, a great woman, my mother who together had nine children. When I had married my wife, who was born and raised in Japan, it was an amazing journey for my father and mother and our entire family. My wife worked humbly and sincerely to win his heart. Whenever he visited us, she would treat him as a "king." My father and my wife eventually became good friends sharing stories of raising a garden to raising children, five of which my wife and I raised. Our eldest son, Joseph, was named after grandpa. He was a wonderful father in law and grandfather. He told my wife and me a few years before he passed, "Because of your wife, Yukiko, my bitterness I felt and gained during WWII in the Pacific has left me. I can die without any resentment." To my wife, my children, and to myself, he really exemplified a person who endured much and remained a giving person. Therefore, through love and kindness, he was able to forgive and seek forgiveness in his own way. The love of a Father and a daughter in law has so much power. This is a picture of Grandpa Joseph and Grandma Jeanne Yakawich at their wedding shortly after his return from WWII.
Kripa Maharjan (Nepal)
My first memory of my mother is how she tenderly held my tiny hands while walking and taught me the English alphabet. " 'A' for?" She would ask. "An apple." I would reply. " 'B' for?" She would repeat. "A ball." I would again gaily answer. Our little, naive conversation when we walked to my maternal uncle's house two decades back. "I had prepared you for a few years of your academic studies months before you were enrolled in a school." She remembers sometimes with a smile. This is my mother, a living example of women empowerment. She made herself my first teacher and the streets my first school. More like a companion, she is a leader who would take me to the school's noticeboard telling me that she wanted to see my name in the list of winners and also write me essays and speeches before I even knew what they were. How I used to practice my speeches in the kitchen and she corrected them while cooking meals for the whole family! Sometimes, I feel I have truly seen God, whose blessings I will always require but my worship for her would never be enough.
Anonymous (South Korea)
Without my mother’s endless prayers, sacrificial love, life teachings, and most importantly, without the exemplary life that she showed me, I would not be able to stand firmly on my own today. Thank you, Mom, for being born in the world and for being my mother. I am so grateful to be the daughter of such a humble and great woman, and I will strive to follow your footsteps throughout my life.
Kayo Miyazaki (Japan)
My parents had four children. My parents were very close. My father very much valued his parents and ancestors. Never cheat. He worked hard for the company, for others, and for the community and for the family. Mother loved her children and lived right. My mother died at age 64 and my father died at age 84. The picture shows parents in their 20s. I want to live with love, like my parents. They are my pride.
What do you appreciate the most about your parents today? Share your own story here and join the movement of creating a peaceful global family.