Remember True Meaning Of Mother’s Day
The birth of Mother’s Day in our country came about following the culmination of the Civil War. Mothers at that time were distressed having witnessed the brutal wartime slayings of men and boys on both sides of the battle. One woman, Julia Ward Howe, was incensed by the countless deaths of sons of all mothers, Confederate and Union alike, and she was outraged at the futility of it all.
In 1870, she called for a Mother’s Day Proclamation in the United States for the purpose of celebrating peace and motherhood. June 2 was designated as the day and for the following 10 years she funded and celebrated this day in several east coast U.S. cities.
Ultimately, the holiday died out, but another woman, Anna Reeves Jarvis, began to celebrated an adaptation of Julia Ward Howe’s day, calling it Mother’s Friendship Day. Her purpose was to create peace and help unite families and neighbors in West Virginia who lived in the same communities but had been on divided sides during the Civil War.
She was successful in her own small town bringing together people who had once been firmly divided in their political views and social opinions. Following Anna’s death, her daughter Anna M. Jarvis began a long campaign petitioning government, civic and business leaders in an effort to secure an official Mother’s Day as an honor to her mother and in honor of peace. In 1912, West Virginia became the first state to recognize Mother’s Day and in 1914 then President Woodrow Wilson signed it into National Observance.
Since then, Mother’s Day has lost much of its original meaning and purpose. Consumerism has taken over the holiday and much of it has to do with buying gifts, flowers and dinners for our mothers and grandmothers. As a mother, it is wonderful to be honored in this way. Nonetheless, I think I can say for most of us mothers, what we desire more than anything else is the implementation of the principle these women from our past so strongly desired and fought for -- peace in this world for our children and grandchildren.
So maybe for the mothers of America, this year on May 8, all of us can take a moment to envision how our own God given talents can be used to accomplish a more peaceful existence for the children of every mother on earth. And perhaps, we can take a moment to say a prayer for peace in our neighborhoods, towns and schools. I know myself and the mothers of America would be truly grateful.