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Mother’s Day:Interesting origin, especially sentimental for America’s service members

Email   Print   Share By Maj. Gen. Anthony Ierardi, 1st Cav. Div. Commanding General
May 9, 2013 | Editorial
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By Maj. Gen. Anthony Ierardi 1st Cav. Div. Commanding General
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What comes to mind when you hear the words “Mother’s Day?”

Do you think of cards, chocolate or red roses? A last-minute gift you have to order online for a same-day delivery? Or, are you a planner who has a day of scheduled Mother’s Day events? Could Mother’s Day be as simple as getting letters and drawings or letters from your children?

As Mother’s Day has evolved, I find its origin quite interesting.

Many scholars like to link it back to the ancient Egyptians, Phrygians, Romans and Greeks whose celebrations centered more on the mothers of gods. In Europe, “Mothering Day” developed to honor the family matron, but that was largely abandoned in America.

The real source of Mother’s Day holiday in this country actually has roots in the American Civil War.

In 1870, Julia Ward Howe, the woman who penned the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” in 1858, wanted American mothers to come together to protest the killing of their sons at war. During the American Civil War, much of the fighting was brother-against-brother, and many American mothers suffered greatly from their losses. Julia Ward Howe sought the creation of an international day of peace and motherhood to be known as “Mother’s Day” to protest the carnage.

As we continue to deploy Soldiers from Fort Hood to fight our nation’s wars, we must remember those mothers who wait patiently for their sons and daughters to return from foreign lands. Keep in mind the mothers who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our nation – the mothers who received the knock at the door, learning of their child’s fate. To those mothers and Families, please accept my deepest condolences for the faithful service and ultimate sacrifice of your loved one.

Let us not forget the mothers who still have children abroad – thank you for your sacrifice. Our thoughts and prayers are with the deployed service members – America’s sons and daughters.

As we continue to train our troopers here at Fort Hood and across the Army, let us take a pause to thank our mothers for the sacrifices they have made for us. Let us remind our mothers how important they are. Let us not forget that they are the ones who taught us ever so patiently.

Please take a moment and think about the mother who watched you pack your things and report to Basic Combat Training, and who most likely has the photo of you in front of the national flag so proudly displayed in her house.

Let’s also think about our service members who are mothers – these Soldiers not only juggle the demands of the military, but being a mother. I try to appreciate how difficult that must be, and admire these Soldiers greatly.

Mothers who are military spouses also deserve special thanks. These are the women who move from one duty location to another and are often left with caring for the children alone because of military demands. I cannot thank you enough for your support to our Soldiers and to your Families.

As we prepare for Mother’s Day, let’s remember all the mothers out there who are so very special to us. They do so much for us and we can’t thank them enough.
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