The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.

Local News

May 8, 2013

Manchin's Message

Every day should be recognized as day for mothers

The tradition of honoring our mothers is as old as the Scriptures. But it was only a little over a century ago that America began observing Mother’s Day. And I am so proud that this great tradition was born in Grafton.

It was Anna Jarvis who pushed our state to adopt an official Mother’s Day celebration  in 1912 — four years after she had honored her mother’s memory with a special church service in her hometown of Grafton.

But she didn’t stop there. She continued what she had done for years — writing letters to ex-Presidents, Senators, Representatives, clergy, business leaders, and women’s clubs, anyone she thought could help get Congress to establish a special day to honor all the mothers in America.

And she didn’t give up when the Senate almost killed the proposed Mother’s Day resolution. She didn’t let up a second.

Finally, in 1914, Congress rose to the occasion, passing a resolution and President Woodrow Wilson signed it, establishing Mother’s Day “as a public expression of love and reverence for the mothers of our country.”

Anna Jarvis is proof that one person can make a real and lasting difference in this world.

Anna Jarvis, explaining the reasons for her remarkable campaign to establish a Mother’s Day, recalled a moment in her life when she was just 12 years old. She was listening to her mother teaching a Sunday school lesson on mothers in the Bible. She concluded the lesson by saying: “I hope and pray that someone, sometime, will found a memorial mother’s day. There are many days for men, but none for mothers.”

Those of us lucky enough to still have our mother with us should treat every day like it is Mother’s Day. And I count it a true blessing that I am so fortunate to be able to celebrate another Mother’s Day with my own mother.

I always look forward to Mother’s Day, to recall growing up in Farmington, surrounded by a loving family that included my mother and my grandmother, known to everyone as “Mama Kay.”

They gave all of us unconditional love. Oh, they taught us right from wrong, and sometimes it could be a hard lesson. But no matter what, they provided for us, they cared for us, and they loved us.

They left a tradition, a heritage and creed, which their life exemplified: “One family united in purpose, service and love.” These words have guided me through my life

Mother’s Day is a time to celebrate the many mothers in our lives and to give thanks not only for our own mothers, but for our grandmothers and our wives, who have given us our beautiful children, and for our daughters, who have made us proud grandfathers.

These special women guide us and inspire us and shape our character with their love, hard work, compassion and dedication to their families.

This Mother’s Day — and every day — let us honor the mothers who are with us still. This Mother’s Day — and every day — let us hold fast to the memories of those who live on in our hearts.

(Manchin is West Virginia’s junior senator.)

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