May 06, 2011

Ahead of Mother's Day, Rockefeller, Manchin Introduce Bill to Honor Our Moms

Mother’s Day Coin Commemorates the 100th Anniversary of the First National Celebration of Mother’s Day

Washington, D.C. – Senators Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin announced this week that they are planning to have the Senate vote on a resolution honoring mothers and recognizing the 100th anniversary of the first celebration of Mothers Day, which took place in West Virginia. Rockefeller reintroduced legislation that would mint commemorative coins to recognize the important role of women in our community, but also help to fund scientific research into cancer and brittle bone disease.

“Mothers play an extraordinary role in the lives of their children and in their communities every day, and on Sunday, Mother’s Day, we will take time to recognize everything they do all year long,” Rockefeller said. “During good times and in bad, mothers comfort, provide for, and teach. This legislation is a tribute to them – here in West Virginia and across the nation. One hundred years after the first recognition of Mother’s Day in West Virginia, I believe this is the right way to honor mothers - while also supporting life-saving women’s health research." 

“Our families are so special to all of us in West Virginia, and I am very proud that Anna Jarvis made our state the first to adopt an official Mother’s Day celebration after she honored her own mother’s memory in Grafton,” Senator Manchin said. “Every day is Mother’s Day if you are fortunate enough to still have your mother with you. But on the one day of the year when we do celebrate Mother’s Day, it is a special time. Our mothers raised us, guided us, nurtured us, taught us right from wrong, were always there for us and always believed in us. I look forward to Mother’s Day as a time to celebrate the many mothers in my life, and I hope that you will do the same. We should give special thanks not only to our own mothers, but our grandmothers and our wives, who have given us our beautiful children.  This legislation is just another way to recognize and care for the mothers who have played such meaningful roles in our lives.” 

The Mother’s Day Centennial Commemorative Coin Act would require the Secretary of the Treasury to mint coins commemorating the centennial of the establishment of Mother’s Day, which was nationally recognized on May 8, 1914.  Proceeds from the sale of these coins would help the fight against breast cancer and osteoporosis by benefiting the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation and the National Osteoporosis Foundation.

Over one hundred years ago, Anna Jarvis of Grafton, WV, honored her recently departed mother’s life by passing out white carnations. Anna’s simple act of personal commemoration in May 1908 grew year after year. Just two years later in 1910, the State of West Virginia recognized Grafton's efforts and established an official Mother’s Day. The first state to do so, West Virginia set a precedent that many soon followed. In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson declared the first national Mother’s Day.

Senators Manchin, Cochran, Stabenow, and Whitehouse are original co-sponsors of Rockefeller’s Mother’s Day Centennial Commemorative Coin Act which is a Senate companion bill to legislation introduced by Congressman David McKinley in the House of Representatives.