Saturday, May 10, 2014

"Just a Thought" Column continues in La Prensa of SA, 5-11

Just a Thought: Mother’s Day
By Steve Walker

Today we celebrate Mother’s Day. It is the day we honor our mothers and motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society. It is celebrated on various days in many parts of the world, most commonly in spring in April or May.

Here in the United States it is designated as the second Sunday in May which turns out to be the 11th this year.  Last year it fell on May 12th and next year it will fall on May 10th.

The modern holiday of Mother's Day was first celebrated in 1908, when a woman named Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother in Grafton, West Virginia. She then began a campaign to make "Mother's Day" a recognized holiday in the United States.

It took until 1914 when President Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation naming the second Sunday of May as a day for “public expression of our love and reverence for the mothers of our country.”  This year we celebrate the 100th anniversary of Mother’s Day in the US.

When we think of the sacrifice many of our mothers who have nurtured us all through our life, we can’t help but be thankful to them and for them.

Look at many of our successful leaders in San Antonio who have been significantly influenced and guided by their mothers.  When you think of Mayor Julian Castro and Congressman Joaquin Castro you immediately think of their success and the influence that their mother Rosie Castro has made a difference in their lives. Both are graduates of Harvard Law School and Stanford University. Rosie herself is well educated and making a difference in the community on her own.

Then there is mother Belle Ortiz, the mother of State Senator and Lieutenant Governor candidate Letica van de Putte who encouraged her daughter to be a success in whatever she chose to do. A Pharmacist by profession Senator van de Putte herself has positively influenced her children which also includes a daughter who is a doctor and another who runs her father’s business Dixie Flags.

Then we have mother Millie Duran, the Founder of the La Prensa Education Foundation which has raised millions of dollars for scholarships. Millie is the wife of La Prensa Publisher Tino Duran and mother to sons David, Steve, and Tino Jr. plus two daughters Barbara and Nina Duran. Nina serves as the managing editor of La Prensa and also serves as an adjunct instructor at San Antonio College. 

According to history Jarvis the founder of “Mother’s Day” became very disappointed with its commercialization by the 1920s. Her mission was to honor her mother with an official Mother’s Day, not commercialize it in her words. Obviously it became so popular it was eventually adopted by numerous other countries and is now celebrated all over the world.

In Mexico for example the government of Alvaro Obregon imported the Mother's Day holiday from the US in 1922 marking May 10th every year as Mother’s Day, with the newspaper Excelsior holding a massive promotional campaign for the holiday that year.

In this tradition, in the early 1920s, Hallmark Cards began creating and producing Mother’s Day cards so each person could offer a gift, card, or remembrance toward their mothers, grandmothers, and/ or maternal figure on that special Mother's Day.

We have come a long way in one hundred years celebrating Mother’s Day. Just a suggestion would be to give your mother a “Happy Mother’s Day” card if you haven’t already and perhaps take her out to dinner to a nice restaurant.   

As always, I write just thought.

Steve Walker is a Vietnam Veteran, former Judge and Journalist

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