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Robert Irwin brought to tears after getting a birthday message from his late dad Steve

If Steve Irwin were here today to see the remarkable people that his two children grew up to be, he would be so proud. Both Bindi and Robert Irwin carry on their dad’s legacy of wildlife conservation, along with Steve’s wife, Terri. And Robert, in particular, has inherited his father’s vivacious, endearing personality that is nothing short of contagious.

Steve might not be around anymore, but that didn’t stop him from providing his son with a wonderful message on his birthday.

Robert, who was only 3 years old when his father tragically passed away in 2006, celebrated his 19th birthday on Dec 1. As he and mom Terri stood onstage at the Australia Zoo—where Robert follows in his father’s footsteps as a Wildlife Warrior—a video began to play showing folks from around the world wishing him a happy birthday. Clearly, the young bloke is just as well loved as his father was.

Then, the footage cuts to Steve Irwin (around 4:48 on the video below).

Robert had only just been born and as Steve holds his newborn son in his hands, he acknowledges that in spite of all his important conservation work, his children are his real purpose, adding, “because after all, I could be dead tomorrow.”

Obviously, that last part hits a little different now.

Steve hoped to instill in his children the same drive to continue his mission, declaring that “then and only then will I know that I have achieved my ultimate goal, and my job will be done. And I guarantee you that it’ll be the proudest moment of my life.”

As the video shows Robert becoming a young adult—one who catches crocs and saves animals just like his old man—it becomes crystal clear that Steve’s heartfelt wish came true.

Touched by the tribute, Robert quips, “You’re gonna make me cry on my birthday!” then shares that continuing his father’s “profound legacy” is a personal privilege.

Robert wasn’t the only one moved by Steve’s message. The video quickly amassed 28 million views on YouTube. And so many comments poured in from people deeply affected by The Crocodile Hunter’s memory.

One person wrote, “As a kid I didn’t watch cartoons, I was obsessed with animal planet, but not just animal planet but Steve Irwin, he was my childhood hero, I had 4 birthday party’s that were crocodile Hunter themed, I’d always say growing up that No matter what I’d go to Australia one day and meet him, When my mom told me the news of his passing I was so upset I didn’t go to school for days, he made such a good impact on all of our childhoods I’m sure, I wish nothing but the best for him and his family, got me tearing up just thinking about it.”

Others noted how Steve undeniably lives on in his son.

“Robert is a perfect example of carrying a legacy. All because Steve has passed away doesn’t mean he’s gone and that’s thanks to his family. Robert’s carrying the torch now and doing a damn well job at it,” commented one person.

Steve Irwin was a hero to many—both animals and humans alike. When you choose to dedicate your life to making the world a better place, it makes a difference, no matter how long you have. This moment is a shining, heartwarming example of that. Steve might be gone, but he continues to inspire others through the work of his family. That’s something to be proud of, indeed.

Source: Upworthy
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