Friday, May 6, 2011

MOTHER’S DAY (A WCHL Commentary)

I guess it would be easy to assume that our Mother’s Day that we celebrate on Sunday is one of those greeting card company creations, but that’s just not the case. Its early history can be traced to the efforts of Ann Jarvis and women’s peace groups who came together to celebrate their sons who fought and died while wearing the blue and the gray during the Civil War.

Mother's Day as we know it today was established by Anna Marie Jarvis, following the death of her mother Ann Jarvis, on May 9, 1905, with the help of Philadelphia merchant John Wanamaker. West Virginia made it an official holiday in 1910, and the rest of states followed quickly. On May 8, 1914, the U.S. Congress passed a law designating the second Sunday in May as Mother's Day and the next day President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation declaring the first national Mother's Day as a day for American citizens to show the flag in honor of those mothers whose sons had died in war.

Nine years after the first official Mother's Day, commercialization of the U.S. holiday became so rampant that Anna Jarvis herself became a major opponent of what the holiday had become and she spent all her inheritance and the rest of her life fighting what she saw as an abuse of the celebration.

In our modern tradition, we celebrate Mother’s Day as a time to honor our mothers and pay tribute to them for all that they have done. So let’s express our love and thanks to our mothers, and remember those who, though no longer with us, still inspire us.