Dear Residents, Families & Friends,
The month of May brings lots of festivity and, when you think about these wonderful celebrations, you realize they all have something in common — sacrifice and devotion to others. On May 14 we will celebrate Mother’s Day and then, on May 29, commemorate Memorial Day.
According to Wikipedia, “The modern holiday of Mother’s Day was first celebrated in 1908, when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother at St Andrew’s Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia. St Andrew’s Methodist Church now holds the International Mother’s Day Shrine. Her campaign to make “Mother’s Day” a recognized holiday in the United States began in 1905, the year her mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis, died. Ann Jarvis had been a peace activist who cared for wounded soldiers on both sides of the American Civil War, and created Mother’s Day Work Clubs to address public health issues. Anna Jarvis wanted to honor her mother by continuing the work she started and to set aside a day to honor all mothers, because she believed that one’s mother was ‘the person who has done more for you than anyone in the world.’ In 1908, Congress rejected a proposal to make Mother’s Day a national holiday, joking they would then have to proclaim a ‘Mother-in-Law’s Day’ as well. However, owing to the efforts of Anna Jarvis, by 1911, all states observed the holiday, with some of them officially recognizing it as a state holiday, the first being West Virginia, Jarvis’ home state, in 1910. In 1914, Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation designating Mother’s Day, held on the second Sunday in May, as a national holiday to honor mothers.”
“Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans — the Grand Army of the Republic, established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30. It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country. The first large observance was held that year at Arlington National Cemetery. Memorial Day became an official holiday in 1971. Additionally, in December 2000, Congress passed, and the president signed into law, ‘The National Moment of Remembrance Act.’ The National Moment of Remembrance encourages all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation. This time was set to ensure the sacrifices of America’s fallen heroes are never forgotten.”
Kensington Park has plans to honor all of our mothers and those who have died in service to our country this month and we would ask that you take a moment to reflect on the meaning of these holidays. Forget the commercialization of it all and be grateful for those in your lives who have given so much of themselves. Spend time with them and, if unable to do so, recognize them by sharing stories that illustrate how their lives have been dedicated to others. We look forward to seeing you this month and having you join with us in expressing our appreciation for the contributions of all mothers and those members of our military services who gave their lives for our country.