Mother’s Day is a holiday that was founded on loving remembrance.
Ann Jarvis started the tradition in 1908 when she held a small memorial service for her mother after she passed away. She wanted to honor not only her own mother, but to remember the sacrifices that all mothers make. Thanks to her efforts, Mother’s Day became an official holiday in 1914. This Mother’s Day, let’s take a look at some of the unique monuments across the country dedicated to celebrating and remembering mothers who have passed.
What makes the Madonna of the Trail a special tribute is that it’s not one specific memorial. It’s a series of monuments erected across the United States. They honor the early mothers of the American pioneers and the sacrifices they endured. They were first built in 1928-29. The trail of monuments starts in Maryland and extends across the country to California.
2. International Mother’s Day Shrine — Grafton, West Virginia
This is where it all started. Ann Jarvis held the first Mother’s Day memorial here. First known as St. Andrews Methodist Church, the historical site was renamed the International Mother’s Day Shrine. It serves as a symbol to honor mothers across the world. It became a national historic landmark in 1992.
3. Ashland Mother’s Memorial — Ashland, Pennsylvania
“A mother is the holiest thing alive” reads the engraving at the base of the statue. The memorial was originally constructed to honor the town’s mothers. It later became a symbol to mothers everywhere. It was unveiled in 1938 during the Great Depression. While many young men had to leave to seek work elsewhere, it served as a symbol of their home, and more importantly, mom.
4. Grieving Gold Star — Carmel, New York
The monument was recently erected in 2006. It was built by the Gold Star Mothers, an organization dedicated to mothers who have lost a son or daughter in service to the country.
The statue portrays a grief-stricken mother with a single tear on her face. It was well-received and plans to build duplicate statues around the country are underway.
*Bonus Monument* Gertie the Duck — Milwaukee, Wisconsin
The statue depicts a mother mallard who cared and raised six hatchlings underneath a bridge in 1945. Gertie inspired the nation weary from WWII. The story was covered by the local paper. It recounted how Gertie raised her hatchlings through fires, floods, and storms. It’s a lighthearted and fun memorial located on the Wisconsin Avenue Bridge.
Make This Mother’s Day Special
For those who recently lost a mother, the holiday can be especially hard. How can your funeral home help?
A great way is to have your funeral home offer a small memorial service and open it to your local community. Some ideas for a service could include:
- Holding a candle lighting ceremony.
- Offering the chance to write personal messages, and ceremoniously cremating them.
- Having a balloon release where individuals release a balloon with a personalized message attached.
- Hosting a brunch or serving some light refreshments, giving everyone time to interact and share stories.
- Reading a Mother’s Day memorial poem, or opening the opportunity up to the community to do so.
A ceremony serves as a small act to help those honor and remember their loved ones. Here are some more great tips on how to get involved this Mother’s Day.
Frazer Consultants would like to wish all a happy Mother’s Day.