On Saturday, May 6, Volunteers from the Wayne Township Trustee Office participated in the Great American Cleanup once again this year. Organized by Maintenance Director Tim Jones, the group spent the morning picking up litter and generally cleaning up around the Pontiac Roundabout, the Fort Wayne Rescue Mission and Weisser Park ball diamonds and elementary school. This is an annual project that kicks off our spring and summer calendar of events. It makes everyone involved feel good about giving something back to the community and helping Mother Nature to look her best for all the outdoor activities coming up.
And speaking of mothers, Sunday May 14th is Mother’s Day when we honor our mothers and remember all the contributions they have made to our well-being. Mother’s are so important in our personal lives and in the life of our community. They give an unconditional love that ideally provides their children with a solid foundation of confidence and self-esteem from which they can grow up to be solid citizens. Without a doubt, our mothers are unsung heroes.
Here at Wayne Township we are always impressed by the fact that no matter how difficult the life situation is for many of our clients, the mothers, young and old, that come through our office always seem to have the welfare of their children as their top priority. So it seems fitting to take a day each year to recognize those mothers and mother figures in all of our lives that give so much to their children.
A little history: a pioneer in the effort to establish Mother’s Day was Julia Ward Howe. She is the same woman who wrote the words to the Battle Hymn of the Republic. Shortly after the end of the Civil War, Mrs. Howe started a peace crusade in Boston which she called a Mother’s Peace Day to be held on the second Sunday in June. That event grew each year until by 1873 women in over 18 cities across the United States were gathering annually in what became a precursor to our modern Mother’s Day celebration.
Another woman who was most influential in establishing a national Mother’s Day was Anna Jarvis. She was the daughter of Ann Jarvis, who in 1868 worked to establish Mother’s Friendship Day to reunite families that had been divided during the Civil War. Ann Jarvis, originally from Grafton, West Virginia, had wanted to expand Mother’s Friendship Day into an annual memorial for mothers, but she died in 1905 before the celebration became popular.
So her daughter, Anna, took over her mother’s cause. A small service was conducted on May 12, 1907, in her mother’s church, Andrews Methodist Episcopal in Grafton, and the first official service was held there the next year on May 10. Mother’s Day was declared a holiday by West Virginia in 1910 and other states quickly followed.
On May 8, 1914, the U.S. Congress designated the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day; and President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation declared it the first official national Mother’s Day. In 1934, President Franklin D. Roosevelt approved the first postage stamp commemorating the holiday. The Grafton Church, where the first celebration was conducted, has now become the International Mother’s Day Shrine and a National Historic Landmark.
Later in her life, Anna Jarvis became disillusioned with how commercialized Mother’s Day had become. In her opinion, the day that started as a religious service recognizing the civilizing influence of mothers had too much changed its focus toward just getting people to spend their money.
Today we celebrate Mother’s Day with cards, gifts and sometimes by taking our mothers out to lunch or dinner. Yes, there still is some commercialism, but there is also a lot of love going around as mothers and children express their appreciation of each other.
We at the Wayne Township Trustee Office hope you have a Happy Mother’s Day however you celebrate.
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