DRAFT RESOLUTION FOR A NEW MOTHER’S DAY -- 2021
Whereas American Mother’s Day originated in the decade following the Civil War through the efforts of two courageous women, Ann Jarvis and Julia Ward Howe, who called upon mothers to join together to protect their most precious treasure, their children, from the suffering of infant mortality (Jarvis) and the ravages of warfare (Howe);
Whereas Anna Jarvis, motivated by an abiding love for her mother, led a successful effort to create a national holiday that would celebrate motherhood itself as well as each and every individual mother;
Whereas on May 8, 1914 the U.S. Congress officially approved a House Joint Resolution designating the second Sunday in May as “Mother’s Day,” and on May 9, 1914, President Woodrow Wilson officially proclaimed Mother’s Day a national holiday;
Whereas in 1934 in the midst of the Great Depression, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, in response to a Senate Resolution emphasizing the impoverishment of an unprecedented “number of mothers and dependent children,” called upon the American people to express on Mother’s Day the “usual tokens and messages of affection to our mothers” and, in addition, to do everything within their power “for the relief and welfare of mothers and children who may be in need of the necessities of life”;
Whereas in more recent decades, presidents of both parties, including Presidents Clinton, G.W. Bush, Obama, and Trump, have commemorated Mother’s Day by encouraging their fellow Americans to fully recognize the immense contribution mothers make to both their families and our larger society;
Whereas, today our country is beset with entrenched political division, including differing opinions about how to properly address manifold threats to our environment, it is fitting for mothers, following the example of Jarvis and Howe, to again work together to heal divisions and protect today’s children by ensuring the preservation of a planet that will enable them to enjoy “the necessities of life.”
Therefore be it resolved: the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues encourages a redefinition of Mother’s Day as not only a special time for honoring our beloved mothers but also an apt occasion for mothers, fathers, and all members of society to engage in actions they deem appropriate—ranging from planting trees and restoring streams, to reducing energy use and communicating with their elected officials about climate change—to protect our beloved Mother Earth.
Furthermore, the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues, drawing upon the inspiring history of our national Mother’s Day and the example of Congress’ and President Roosevelt’s use of this sacred day to address the urgent need of mothers and children, formally requests our fellow members of Congress to approve a Joint Resolution calling for a renewed Mother’s Day:
Let Mother’s Day become, in this year and all future years, a holiday that honors not only our loving, dedicated, and ever-resourceful Mothers but also our bountiful Mother Earth.
The Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues also asks that immediately pursuant to the approval of this Resolution, President Biden—attended by Dr. Biden, Vice President Harris and Mr. Emhoff, and the bi-partisan co-chairs of our Caucus--make a public proclamation of this expanded definition of our annual Mother’s Day.