Unification News for September and October 1999

National Parents’ Day in S. California

by Sarah (Isabelle) Davati—Ontario, CA

1999 National Parents’ Day of the Inland Empire was the recipient of an Appreciation Award from Governor Gray Davis of California for distinguished service to the community. Ontario, California hosted the Inland Empire observance of the Third Annual Parents’ Day (including Student of the Year and Teacher of the Year awards). Guests at the events on Aug. 2 were welcomed by Debbie Acker, the emcee, and a salute to the flag and unison recital of the national anthem followed.

Mayor Paul Eaton, the NPDF’s honorary chairman, said in his opening remarks: "The recent school tragedies in Colorado and Georgia remind us that healthy families start at home. Only through the involvement of parents in the growth and development of their children can we hope to raise successive generations of American youth committed to the basic principles which shape a free and safe society. National Parents’ Day encourages and recognizes the invaluable contribution of responsible parents."

Assemblywoman Nell Soto, while presenting a certificate, remarked: "The relationship of parents to children is the most important of all relationships. The interest a parent shows in the activities of the child will make or break how the child does academically and socially. This has a direct connection with the way the children progress into adulthood and the way they, in turn, raise their children.

Mayor Edward Cortez awarded the Outstanding Parents of the Year award to Rev. and Mrs. Gunderson from the city of Pomona; Mr. and Mrs. Saliz from the city of Montclair were recognized by Mayor Paul M. Eaton, as well. By honoring the parents we are showing a good example not only to our children but to other parents as well.

Isabelle Davati said in her closing remarks: "The purpose of this day is to reinforce and uplift the important role of parents in raising healthy and functional children. Children are in trouble because their families are in crisis. As the World War II generation ages and dies away, so dies a set a rarely articulated but strongly held values which made America a highly desirable society in which to live. All over the world people still look up to America and avidly imitate its culture of freedom and democracy. On the other hand, any illness in American culture spreads rapidly to all the nations of the world. The West’s social and moral decline should concern people everywhere, especially parents.

Healthy families are the foundation for healthy, well-adjusted communities because the values which promote peace in the world communities are a direct extension of the values which promote peace within individual families. God-centered families and the pursuit of world peace are not two separate goals. Without families which embody the love and ideals of our Creator, reconciliation and peace among divided classes, creeds and colors will remain an unattainable dream. (See True Father’s speeches and True Family Values.) Children need their parents to set the norms based on the ideals of their faith, by which to educate their consciences. Children’s consciences must be trained so that as adults they can make right decisions. We believe the key to building a more perfect society (regardless of material advancement) ultimately lies in elevating the spiritual and moral lifestyle of its citizens.

There were five categories of winners: Outstanding Parents of the Year, Students, Teachers, Grandparents and Parent Professionals (non-profit institutions as caregivers to the community). The ceremony was ended by a Holy Wine and Blessing Ceremony as the grand finale! Everyone (including public officials—assemblymen and mayors) in the audience recited the Pure Love Pledge in unison and drank the Holy Wine to receive the blessing of God and True Parents for their marriage, family, children and the nation. This event was a big victory for God, won through the sacrifices of volunteer donors. Our gratitude goes to all the volunteer parents who gave of themselves, their time and their resources sacrificially to make this national celebration a memorable one!

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