Just a Thought: Día de las Madres

Steve Walker is a Vietnam Veteran and former Justice of the Peace and Journalist.

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 on May 14 this year. Last year, it fell on May 8.

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 103rd anniversary of Mother’s Day in the United States.

When we think of the sacrifice many of our mothers have made and how they 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 former Mayor and HUD Secretary Julián 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 with a master’s degree and making a difference in the community on her own.

Then we have mother Millie Duran. She is the founder of the La Prensa Foundation, which has raised millions of dollars for scholarships. Millie is the wife of the former La Prensa Publisher Tino Duran and mother to sons David, Steve and Tino Jr., plus two daughters Barbara and Nina Duran. Tino is now retired and daughter Nina now serves as the publisher of La Prensa.

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 that 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 United States in 1922, marking May 10 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 or maternal figure on that special Mother’s Day.

We have come a long way in over 100 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 a Thought.”

Steve Walker is a Vietnam Veteran, former Judge and Journalist