Grafton celebrates 100 years of Mother’s Day

Exponent Telegram photo by Ashlie Walter An Anna Jarvis reenactor stood outside the International Mother’s Day Shrine to greet people as they came into the church for a special Mother’s Day service Sunday afternoon.

Exponent Telegram photo by Ashlie Walter
An Anna Jarvis reenactor stood outside the International Mother’s Day Shrine to greet people as they came into the church for a special Mother’s Day service Sunday afternoon.

GRAFTON, W.Va. — Anna Jarvis would have been proud to see how Mother’s Day was celebrated Sunday afternoon at the International Mother’s Day Shrine in Grafton.

Sunday marked the 100th anniversary of the holiday becoming an official day to honor mothers throughout the nation. The shrine hosts a special Mother’s Day Service every year but, surprisingly, this was the first one with a woman keynote speaker — Martha Joy Rose, president and founder of Mamapalooza, Inc. and with the Museum of Motherhood in New York City. She came out to the Mother’s Day celebration because it’s important to focus on women in history, Rose said.

“More needs to be done to honor them. First of all, Anna Jarvis is an important woman for honoring mothers because they are how we got to the planet,” she said.

Rose went on to say when Jarvis founded Mother’s Day, there were no computers or social media, and Jarvis didn’t even hold the right to vote.

Her speech mentioned there are many different kinds of mothers today such as birth mothers, adoptive mothers, foster mothers and even some dads who play the role of a mother. She said understanding their caring and nurturing spirit is what Mother’s Day is all about.

Jarvis began the first Mother’s Day service in 1908 in the shrine, a former church, said Katharine Antolini, a trustee with the Mother’s Day Shrine. Over four hundred people celebrated the first official observance at the Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church in Grafton, which is now the Mother’s Day Shrine…

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